February 26, 2013 by Carrie Mess
It must be true, I read it on the internet! … Recently I have been seeing several shares of articles discussing the petition that the National Milk Producers Foundation (NMPF)and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) submitted, several years ago to allow the use of aspartame in milk and milk products. Of course the articles I have seen shared around have been from less than reliable sources and are chock full of incorrect “facts”. Most of these blog posts seem to have ignored the words in the actual petition and either have low reading comprehension skills or have a hidden agenda. Controversy sells and there is nothing like scaring people about their food to make the masses share your blog.
… Maybe I should start making random things up? Instead how about I just give you the link to look at the actual petition for yourself. CLICK HERE
While many of these posts are trying to convince their readers that not only is the FDA going to start allowing aspartame in milk, they are going to allow it without BEING LABELED!!! PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! Oh, and according to the internets, they have already been allowing sugar to be added to our milk to make kids want to drink it and all without being labeled! OH THE HORROR!!!!!!!!
Guess what? They are wrong.
Regardless of how you feel about aspartame, let’s look at the facts here.
Aspartame in Milk Facts.
1. There is a difference between labeling and ingredient statements. What NMFP & IDFA is asking for in the petition is the ability to add aspartame to dairy products without having to call their product something other than milk. The FDA is very picky about what you are allowed to use as an ingredient and still be allowed to call the product milk. Because they want you to know that what you get is what you meant to buy. Labeling and nutrient claims is not the same as an ingredient statement!
2. If aspartame is included in a milk product it will be listed in the ingredient statement. In absolutely no way is the FDA going to allow an ingredient to be added to milk and not have it stated on the ingredient label. NMPF and IDFA are NOT asking to be allowed to hide aspartame as an ingredient. Same with sugar or Vitamin D. Take the jug of milk out of your fridge and look at it. There will be in ingredient statement. If anything is added to your milk, it will be listed there.
3. So why add aspartame to milk? Well aspartame has no calories. Used in place of sugar it would make flavored milk, like chocolate and strawberry lower calorie than it is now. Like drinking a diet soda instead of regular soda, if soda also had essential vitamins and nutrients. Which of course soda doesn’t have… Which leads us to why kids should be drinking milk in the first place.
So the skinny on this… If aspartame is allowed in milk it will be included in the ingredient statement, you will know it’s there. It won’t be included in all milk. It will not be hidden from you. You will be able to make an informed choice in the grocery store just like you always have!