The White House is poised to begin labeling dairy foods starting in 2021, but some farmers are worried about what that means for their products and what that could mean for farmers.
The move is an early indication of what President Donald Trump has in mind when he proposes the labeling of the nation’s most popular dairy products.
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed that the White and Senate Agriculture Committees begin implementing a system of federal-mandated labeling in 2021.
In January, Trump told reporters that he was considering establishing a national system of labeling for dairy products in the United States.
“Right now, I think it would be good for dairy farmers if they would be able to put that on there,” Trump said.
“I don’t know if it’s possible or not.
But I think that it would probably be good.”
Trump has also said he would allow a variety of foods to be labeled with their own nutrition labels.
“There’s so many foods that are so good that you could put a nutrition label on them,” he said during an interview with Fox Business Network.
“So I’m not going to be able in 2021 to do that.
Some farmers, including many who produce their own milk, say that the proposed system is too burdensome and costly.””
But I’m open to doing it if you can put it on there.”
Some farmers, including many who produce their own milk, say that the proposed system is too burdensome and costly.
“I don’ want to go out in the market and say, ‘I have to take your product off,'” said David Pecoraro, president of the Montana Dairy Council.
“We have to be honest with ourselves.”
Pecoraryo is not the only one who worries about how the proposed federal-state system could impact the quality of his products.
“It’s going to impact us in a lot of ways,” said Pecorsaro, who has been the dairy operations director of the Rocky Mountain Milk Producers Association for years.
“We don’t want to be subject to this kind of stuff, and we don’t need to take it out on ourselves.
We’re not a bunch of small guys.”
Percoraro said the proposed labeling system could cause more headaches for farmers who are not familiar with the process.
“They’re going to need to have a lot more information to make sure that the product is really in line with the labels,” Pecoricaro said.
Pecoricaros dairy operations are in Montana, but he also produces products in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
He said he doesn’t want his products labeled as being produced in Montana.
“It’s not going into our products.
It’s not in our milk,” Percoraros said.”
And we don`t want it to go in our products.”
In 2017, a federal panel concluded that labeling dairy ingredients is a viable way to help the nation keep up with rising global demand for milk.
The National Dairy Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture also have worked to make labeling a top priority.
The White House, which will take a final decision on the proposal in 2021 after receiving input from the two panels, has indicated that the labels would be a first step in a broader plan to promote more transparency in how food is produced and consumed.
“Our goal is to make food that people can consume and make sure we don’ get rid of the labeling,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the briefing.
“There’s a lot that can be done in that area.”