HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Friday, June 7, 2024

Vegan Dairy: How the FDA Can Avoid Crying Over Spilled [Cow-Less] Milk

Keith Topper (St. John’s University), Vegan Dairy: How the FDA Can Avoid Crying Over Spilled [Cow-Less] Milk, 79 Food and Drug L. J. (forthcoming):

A food product designation of vegan has always inherently implied a classification of dairy-free; however, the recent agricultural advancement of precision fermentation has changed this. By producing artificial dairy without the use of cows, manufacturers are able to label a product as vegan even though the product is not dairy-free, thereby creating the “vegan loophole.” Although a seemingly insignificant technicality, the vegan loophole can be fatal for people who suffer from conditions that involve dairy allergies, such as Galactosemia. Consumers, including those who are not impacted by food allergies, have come to rely on the presence, or absence, of the term vegan on food packaging as a basis for ingredient label-reading. The advent of manufactured dairy threatens to disrupt ingredient label-reading practices that have been in place for decades. This paper addresses several possible approaches that the Food & Drug Administration could take to close the vegan loophole.

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