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Arkansas Passes Resolution Calling for Standard for Rice

  • Over the last year, dairy industry groups have appealed to FDA and Congress to enforce the standard of identity for milk with regard to plant-based beverages labeled as “milk,” for example “soy milk”.  The dairy industry argues that milk is defined as “the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows” (21 C.F.R. Section 131.110) and that plant-based beverages do not meet this standard.  Those wishing for plant-based beverages to retain the ability to use a name including the plant source and the word “milk” argue that such a name provides context for consumers while making the plant-based origins of the beverage clear.  See Daily Intake posts on the topic herehere, and here.

  • Now,  the rice industry is interested in ending the practice of naming vegetables that have undergone a process known as ricing from being labeled as “rice” preceded by the vegetable type, for example “cauliflower rice.”  The industry argues that the use of the term rice is misleading to consumers who might expect the vegetable rice product to contain Oryza sativa L. or wild rice defined by the four species of grasses from the genus Zizania.  See our blog post on the topic from May 2017.

  • Arkansas, a major producer of rice in the United States, recently passed a resolutionto set a standard for rice, urged Federal regulators to set a standard for rice,  and take action against vegetable rice products that do not contain any Oryza sativa L. or wild rice.

  • If a federal standard of identity for rice is established, the argument that riced vegetables cannot use rice in their names would be strengthened.  The battle over whether plant-based beverages can include “milk” in their names will be predictive, especially if plant-based beverages are allowed to continue using “milk” in their names.

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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...