North Dakota’s dairy producers are taking a stand against the makers of plant-based drinks by proposing legislation that would remind regulators in Washington what truly constitutes milk.
The industry claims it could help to set things straight and send an important message about their product.
Definition of “Milk” Extended
Rep. Dawson Holle, a Mandan Republican and dairy farmer at heart, recently put forward House Bill 1255 to officially recognize milk as the lacteal secretion obtained from hoofed mammals in North Dakota state law.
With this bill, he hopes his fellow citizens will be connected further with their pastoral roots through one of the most essential dietary staples: milk!
The North Dakota Legislature may attempt to answer an age-old question this session: What is milk? https://t.co/J6pf9XBWec
— Jeremy Turley (@jeremyjturley) January 19, 2023
A teenage lawmaker has proposed the definition of “milk” be extended to include dairy produced from unconventional sources such as goats, sheep, horses, and even reindeer! This ambitious plan could dramatically expand what we consider milk — setting a new standard for our diets.
On January 19th, Holle addressed the House Agriculture Committee and declared a virtual war between dairy milk and nondairy alternatives such as soy, oats, coconuts, or almonds. It is clear these plant-based beverages are no longer absent from today’s conversation about milk products.
Studies have found many consumers believe soy milk offers the same nutritional benefits as cow’s milk. However, according to nutritionist Maria Holle, this is not necessarily true and people should be aware of what they are consuming.
After decades of qualms, North Dakota dairy producers have raised their voices to state legislators about the labeling of plant-based milk.
Kenton Holle, a lobbyist for the Milk Producers Association and grandfather of Dawson Holle, testified before a Republican committee that it is past time to address what he called “a subject under saddle.”
The dictionary definition of "vegan."
It does not specify:
"Must encase one's feet in cement in front of Starbucks or pour milk on the floor of Harrod's to protest animal abuse." pic.twitter.com/ckeQ2sRJSU
— Recovering Vegan (@VeganRecovering) January 19, 2023
Animal Milk is the Only True “Milk”
North Dakota legislators are looking to the federal government for support in their efforts to increase transparency surrounding plant-based beverages.
The proposal put forward by Representative Thomas Holle is intended to create an open dialogue and ensure consumers have access to accurate information about what they’re buying.
North Dakota legislators are sending a clear message: animal milk is the only true “milk.” While passing a labeling bill would make this official, it has already caused controversy amongst those in favor of plant-based products.
On Thursday, representatives of the agriculture industry gave a resounding sign of approval for an upcoming bill. Pete Hanebutt – a lobbyist with North Dakota Farm Bureau – strongly encouraged lawmakers to back it.
No opposition was voiced in response, signaling strong support and backing by all sides involved.
This comes after similar legislation passed last year, which looked to clarify rules on cellular-cultured meat products not being marketed as traditional meats or animal products themselves.