Got Real Milk? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Got Real Milk?

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Wayne Kramer Wayne Kramer

Wayne Kramer has been a dairy farmer in Dubuque County for about 30 years. His family has been in the business for more than 100 years. 

Over those years, he's seen people drinking less milk, he says because there's so many alternatives to pick from now. "Now these here are real cows, that give real milk -- not no imitation milk." he said. 

Products like soy milk and almond milk that don't come from actual cows.

That's why Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin proposed a bill called the Dairy Pride Act, that would require these products to be renamed. 

She says they're mislabeled.

Some farmers here in Iowa agree. "The others is ground up soy beans, or ground up almonds and water, and added vitamins. It's not the nutritious vitamins that comes from really dairy products," added Kramer.

However, these alternatives are very popular. "We have a lot of customers that come in for a variety of reasons looking for these kinds of products, so they might be allergic to dairy, they might have a lactose intolerance or they might just want an alternative to an animal product," said Amy Cordingley, dietitian at Hy-Vee.

Those supporting the bill say some shoppers might be confused.  "I think they get confused quite often because they don't really know what they're buying. It's not the real dairy product," Kramer said.

If passed, the Dairy Pride Act would also apply to products like yogurt and cheese. It's not yet known what alternatives like soy milk will be called if the bill passes.

If it does, the FDA would have to issue guidance for enforcement of non-dairy labels within 90 days. 

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