Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is petitioning for the government to ban plant-based “milks” being marketed and labelled as “milk.” Research has shown that over the last five years the Australian dairy cattle farming industry has declined at an annualised rate of 1.8 per cent, whereas the plant-based “milk” product industry recorded 4.1 per cent growth. The ADF maintains that this growth is perpetuated by dishonest labelling and marketing strategies, which co-opt the name and look of dairy milk to capitalise on the reputation of dairy. As well as disadvantaging the dairy industry, these practices are arguably problematic for consumers who rely on label information. Various countries have already banned such practices. In 2017 the European Court of Justice banned the use of dairy terms on plant-based products and in France there are specific laws which prohibit meat and dairy descriptors being applied to vegan or vegetarian products. Similar sentiments have arisen in Canada and the United States. The ADF is calling for the Australian Government to amend the Food Standards Code or develop new regulations to ensure that consumers are able to make choices based on correct, transparent labeling.

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