| I hesitate to even use the word "yogurt" after this week's debacle with yogurt-making, but this is a rather urgent action alert. I got an email the other day with some news: the yogurt industry wants to put milk protein concentrate in yogurt (PDF) and the government's considering it. What's milk protein concentrate (MPC)? Well, it's NOT MILK. It's an imported substance that's basically whatever's left of milk after you filter anything useful or nutritious out of it. You can currently find it in really cheap cheese (check Kraft brand labels and you'll find it).
The National Yogurt Association petition being considered will:
...undermine yogurt as we know it by weakening minimum ingredient and labeling requirements in current FDA standards of
identity. The proposed amendment would allow processors to:
* Substitute imported Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) and other cheap, inferior (imported) dairy ingredients for the American farm milk and nonfat dry milk.
* Use milk and dairy ingredients that do not meet minimum federal Grade A standards - a scary thought following the Chinese melamine milk scandal.
* Include whey derivatives as allowable ingredients in yogurt.
* Disguise the presence of aspartame and other controversial artificial sweeteners by hiding their presence in the fine print of the ingredients label.
This is NOT GOOD. If this goes through, I might have to learn how to make yogurt. For a very thorough explanation of this issue, check out what The Ethicurean has to say on it.
Take Action: Go here to submit comments. If that doesn't work, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search on Docket FDA-2000-P-0126. You need to do this prior to March 31, 2009.