The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a request for information on the use of the names of dairy foods in the labeling of plant-based products. This action arose from the agency’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy, one tenet of which is a focus on modernizing food standards. During Commissioner Gottlieb’s remarks at the Nutrition Innovation Strategy public meeting, he stated that requests for the agency to take a closer look at the dairy standards of identity is one of many reasons why FDA is interested in modernizing the food standards, and that this would be the first area in which FDA is going to have an active public process for reviewing the standards and how consumers understand the use of terms like “milk” on both animal-derived and plant-based products.

This RFI aims to gather information on how consumers use plant-based products and how consumers understand the use of dairy terms, such as “milk,” or “yogurt” when they appear on the labels of plant-based products, as well as the nutritional attributes of these products and how these products can help consumers meet the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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U.S. exporters of dairy products to China are subject to importing country listing requirements for manufacturers or processors as a precondition of market access.  Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), formally establishing a registration process for U.S. food manufacturers who export certain foods to China.  FDA also issued guidance for industry on how to establish and maintain a list of U.S. milk and milk products, infant formula, and formulas for young children manufacturers or processors.

In this post we summarize the key legal requirements for exporting dairy products to China.

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Partner Roy Zou and Senior Associate Jessie Xie from our Beijing office contributed to this post.