Skim Milk is “Skim Milk,” Not “Imitation” Skim Milk- Court Says

Associated Press writer Brendan Farrington reported yesterday that, “A small, all-natural diary isn’t being deceptive when it calls it’s skim milk ‘skim milk,’ a federal appeals court ruled Monday in a victory for the creamery that’s fighting the state’s demand to label the product ‘imitation’ because vitamins aren’t added to it.

“The ruling overturns a decision last March when a federal judge sided with the Florida Department of Agriculture, which said the Ocheesee Creamery couldn’t label it’s skim milk ‘skim milk’ because the state defines the product as skim milk with Vitamin A added. The state instead said if the creamery wanted to sell the product, it should label it as ‘imitation’ skim milk.

“But that didn’t sit well with a dairy whose whole philosophy is to not add ingredients to natural products. So instead of complying, the creamery has dumped thousands of gallons of skim milk down the drain rather than label it as an imitation milk product.”

The AP article noted that, “The court said the state disregarded far less restrictive and more precise ways of labeling the product, ‘for example, allowing skim milk to be called what it is and merely requiring a disclosure that it lacks vitamin A.'”

The dictionary definition of skim milk is simply milk with the cream removed. But the Department of Agriculture says under state and federal law, skim milk can’t be sold as skim milk unless vitamins in the milk fat are replaced so it has the same nutritional value as whole milk,” the article said.

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