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FDA suggests cautionary label as world goes nuts for alternative milk

Updated Feb 28, 2023
The European Union prohibits alt-milk makers from using the word “milk” to market their products, a common practice in the US.
With the worldwide market for non-dairy milks forecast to reach nearly $32 billion this year, United States authorities are recommending that dairy alternatives such as almond, soy or oat milks disclose that they may be nutritionally inferior to cow’s milk. Doctors, too, say plant-based milk alternatives aren’t always the healthiest choice, especially for children. The US Food and Drug Administration draft guidance comes as grocers offer dairy alternatives made from an ever-expanding assortment of nuts, cereals and other plants, including coconuts, hemp, oats, peas, quinoa and rice. Worldwide sales of alt-milks are growing steadily, driven both by the needs of consumers who have an intolerance to cow’s milk and the desire of some to reduce the environmental impact. Alt-milks are beverages made, generally, by soaking a base ingredient in water, often after roasting it, then sometimes blanching or steaming it. In a process called wet milling, water is added and the material is ...
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