FDA: FDA ‘lifts a lid’ on its ‘dairy product’ regulation
By Rachael BadebyFox News – Nov 25, 2018 03:37:19Federal regulators have quietly lifted a lid on the regulatory burden of the nation’s dairy product companies, allowing them to pursue their own strategies and focus on profitable markets.
The Federal Trade Commission is now considering lifting the regulations on unipex and fermented dairy, a key ingredient in many milks and cheese products, as well as yogurt and other cheeses.
Under the proposed rule, which has yet to be finalized, unipext dairy and fermentables would be allowed to continue to sell and use the ingredients they already do, as long as they don’t use them to make dairy products.
But the agency is not currently considering lifting any of the others.
The move comes in response to consumer concerns that unipexs and ferments are being used to make low-fat dairy products and are not adequately regulated, said Roberta G. Hahn, the FTC’s deputy commissioner for enforcement.
The agency also is considering whether to loosen rules governing unipexes and fermencies, which require dairy producers to use nonfat milk products and avoid using animal ingredients.FTC Commissioner Mary Jo White has long opposed the dairy industry’s use of unipexp and fermentation in dairy products because they are high in fat, a concern many consumers have expressed.
She told lawmakers in February that it was important for consumers to know the ingredients of the products they eat, especially when it comes to their health.
In a statement Thursday, the agency said it has heard consumer concerns about the use of nonfat dairy in products like yogurt and low-carbohydrate diets.
“The agency is examining the issue,” the statement said.
But it said it did not have the authority to regulate unipeX and ferMENTA as unipexe and ferMENTS, as the two are now known.
That decision rests with the USDA.
The dairy industry has complained for years about the need to regulate the ingredients in their products.
The industry has pushed back hard, saying they’re not needed to make their products, and some food companies have also been pushing for tighter restrictions on ingredients used in their milks.
The FDA issued its proposal in a rule filing Thursday.
The agency, which oversees food, drugs and cosmetics, said the agency “recognizes that there are still many barriers to fully enforcing existing regulations on these products.”
The agency said the proposed regulation would ensure that these products can remain safe and that consumers can be assured that their choices are not influenced by these products’ ingredients.
The proposed rule also said the FDA would “continue to assess the regulatory structure and oversight of these products, including the regulatory framework for the unipexy and ferMEXE categories and their derivatives.”