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Aspartame in milk may soon lose its artificial sweetener label, if the dairy industry gets its way. For the past several years the dairy lobby has tried to sneak “diet milk” into our homes passing it off as regular milk. If the push to get the artificial sweetener label removed is successful, chocolate and strawberry milk will no longer be subjected to the ingredients disclaimer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted last week that a 2009 petition from the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association wants the artificial sweeteners label dropped. The FDA has asked the public to submit comments and information related to not only aspartame but other artificial sweeteners in milk, before a decision is made.
The dairy industry is presently allowed to use the term “unmodified” milk for products that contain sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup and sugar. Aspartame is used a lot in diet soft drinks and yogurt. Most consumers know aspartame best under the brand name Equal.
There is absolutely no logical reason to introduce an artificial sweetener into milk. It baffles the mind that the FDA would consider allowing an unlabeled ingredient some researchers believe can alter brain chemistry into milk and at the same time close down the Morningland Dairy for producing perfectly safe raw cheese.
Aspartame is also believed by some scientists to enhance cravings for high-calorie food and enhance the chances to become diabetic and obese. The powerful diary lobby contradicts the recent findings about aspartame and feels the artificial sweetener would make milk healthier.
The push by the dairy industry to allow artificial sweeteners into our milk without labeling them as such, comes as the once popular drink is on the decline. Soft drinks, power drinks, soy, coconut, and rice milk have reportedly eaten up a large portion of the beverage market.
In a concerted effort to keep soy milk sales from surpassing the cow variety, the dairy industry remains hard at work on that front as well. The group is pushing the FDA to terminate the words “milk” and “cheese” from being used on any product that does not come from a cow. The soybean lobby and the dairy lobby are locked in a fierce political battle over phraseology.
A recent report in Mother Jones indicates that the dairy industry may get its about adding aspartame to milk without a label and pushing back against soy products. The article cites the dairy lobby’s history of successes on Capitol Hill as a strong sign the FDA will approve the 2009 petition.
As the dairy terms and artificial sweeteners battle continues in Washington, Iowa is quietly considering allowing raw milk for sale on farms. A bill now in committee would permit farmers to sell raw milk on their own property. Republican State Representative Jason Schultz feels the bill is extremely important due to the growing number of residents who want access to the safe, healthy, and organic product.
Representative Schultz made the very common sense argument that since folks can buy raw meat and raw eggs – they should be able to but unpasteurized milk as well.
Beginning in 1987, the FDA required all milk to be pasteurized. During the past several decades some states have allowed residents to consume raw milk through a “herd sharing” process. If an individual owns a cow, they have access to unpasteurized milk, but the general consumer does not legally have access to raw milk.
Although some Iowa farmers note they grew up on raw milk and did not experience any ill health effects, they remain a bit nervous about the pending law. If raw milk becomes legal to sell on farms in Iowa and a single death occurs, farmers fear it could significantly harm the entire dairy industry. Between 1998 and 2011, there were reportedly 2,384 illnesses from raw milk products, 284 hospitalizations, and two deaths.
How do you feel about aspartame and raw milk dangers?