WUD challenges FDA on misuse of the name ‘yogurt’


Western United Dairymen (WUD) has called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take immediate action to stop the use of the name “yogurt” in labels on products derived from non-dairy sources. WUD said its board of directors had recently learned that “soy yogurt” is being marketed alongside true “dairy” yogurt in the refrigerated dairy cases at local supermarkets. 

“These products were being displayed in a fashion so as to mislead and confuse consumers as it is labeled as a ‘soy milk’ based product,” said WUD in its complaint filed with the FDA on Feb. 6.

WUD has previously registered complaints regarding the misuse of the name “milk” in the labeling of soy beverages. 

“For whatever reason, the FDA has refused to enforce the standard of identity for milk leading to a multitude of non-milk ‘milks’ being sold and the diminution of the standard of identity,” WUD said in its latest WUD Weekly Update.

WUD reminded FDA that any product that uses the term “milk” as part of the name on its label must conform to the federal standard of identity described as “the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.” 

“The regulation is clear and does not equivocate: Milk does not come from beans, rice, nuts or anything else – it comes from cows,” WUD said.  “By using words such as ‘soy milk’ and ‘yogurt’ in the labeling of this soy-based product, consumers are doubtlessly misled to believe that it is a product comparable to the nutritional profile and benefits of milk.”

“The soy product industry’s blatant misuse of the term ‘milk’ and ‘yogurt’ as part of a coordinated marketing scheme to deceive consumers must be stopped,” said WUD. “The explicit strategy identified herein and being employed by the soy industry is an attempt to fraudulently lure customers to their product as a substitute for wholesome, nutritious milk.”