State Watch

Oklahoma GOP lawmaker files bill to ban plant-based milk alternatives from being labeled as milk

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A GOP state lawmaker in Oklahoma has introduced legislation that aims to crack down on plant-based milk alternatives being labeled as milk.

House Bill 2994, which was authored by state Rep. Jim Grego (R), says that items labeled as “Grade A milk and milk products” must be derived from hoofed mammals like cows and goats.

“A person shall not state on a label of a food product that the product is milk unless the product meets the definition of milk” established in the measure, the bill goes on to state. 

{mosads}The bill also stipulates that, if passed, the state’s Board of Agriculture would be required to “establish and implement a plan to enforce the prohibition” of products labelled milk that don’t fit the requirements outlined, including plant-based products it says are “mislabeled as milk.”

The measure calls for a “ban on all products that do not meet the requirements of subsection B of this section, including plant-based products mislabeled as milk.”

Grego said in an interview with local newspaper the Duncan Banner earlier this week that bill is designed to help dairy farmers in the state.

He added that products like coconut milk and soy milk would still be able to be sold in the state, but they just wouldn’t be called milk. The lawmaker suggested manufacturers could instead label the items as “extract.”

“The products will still be out there,” he told the local publication. “I don’t see them going away, but they won’t be called milk. I don’t see a single product going away.”

If passed, the bill is scheduled to take effect at the beginning of November.

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