NEW YORK — Soy and almond drinks don't come from cows, so regulators may soon ask them to stop calling themselves "milk."
The Food and Drug Administration is signaling that it plans to start enforcing a federal standard that defines "milk" as coming from the "milking of one or more healthy cows." To date, the agency has not aggressively gone after the proliferation of plant-based drinks labeled as milk.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb at a Politico event this week said that the agency must first notify food makers of plans to change enforcement rules. He said that will happen in about a year.
Milk producers have long called for such a crackdown. The Good Food Institute, which advocates for plant-based alternatives, says the term "milk" should be permitted with modifiers for nondairy drinks.