Confused about the term ‘soy milk’? FDA wants to know

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The FBI is considering whether soy and other nondairy products can keep calling themselves “milk.” | AP file photo

NEW YORK — Do people understand the differences between milk and soy and rice “milk”?

That’s what the Food and Drug Administration is asking as it considers whether soy and other non-dairy products can keep calling themselves “milk.” Right now, federal standards define milk as coming from a cow.

The call for comments, being published Thursday, comes after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb signaled in July the agency might start going after nondairy drinks that call themselves milk. The dairy industry for years has called for just such a crackdown.

Milk is one of a range of foods that have federal standards, which are supposed to ensure the quality of products on supermarket shelves.

Some makers of plant-based drinks say the standards are outdated and are used to fend off competition.

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