Wisconsin dairy farmers push for limit on 'milk' label
WATERLOO - Some Wisconsin dairy farmers are among a growing contingent of those pushing Congress to limit the use of the name "milk" to beverages that come from animals, not plants.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin has introduced legislation to accommodate dairy farmers, WUWM-FM reported.
Some Wisconsin dairy farmers say the name "milk" is important and should belong only to the kind that comes from animals instead of alternatives.
"Now it's pushing the cashew milk and the almond milk and those kinds of things. You see them advertised all day long," said Jennifer Sauer of Sauer Dairy Farm in Waterloo. "When's the last time you saw a milk mustache commercial? We used to have them all the time, haven't seen them."
Sauer's husband, Shane, said after decades of hard work and lots of money, nothing but milk from animals should be called milk.
"We fought for this label for a long time, they can fight for theirs," Jennifer Sauer said.
Others who aren't in the dairy industry don't care if other products use the name.
American Soybean Association spokesman Patrick Delaney said people who decide to purchase an alternative to dairy milk know the difference. He says soybean farmers have also been getting into the milk market because of demand.
"I think it's something that really pits one aspect of agriculture against another aspect of agriculture and that's unfortunate," he said.
Area resident Leah Parkhurst, who has been vegan for more than a decade, said she doesn't care if other products use the name.
"It seems ludicrous to me that it has to be defined as cow milk or an animal product," Parkhurst said. "All kinds of things make milk. There's milk wheat, there's plants that make milk so it seems absolutely inappropriate to me that everything has to have a strict definition."