What's in a name? Oklahoma lawmaker wants to remove 'milk' from plant-based alternatives

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘Don’t cry over spilled milk,’ but Oklahoma lawmakers may soon be debating over the drink.

According to a recently filed piece of legislation, Rep. Jim Grego hopes to bring his beef with milk alternatives to the floor of the House of Representatives.

House Bill 2994 would prohibit the label of milk on food products that were not derived from animals.

The bill would make changes to the Oklahoma Milk and Milk Products Act. It would change the definition of milk in the act to mean the lacteal secretion from hooved mammals like cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, yaks, deer, reindeer, moose, horses, and donkeys.

The measure would also ban all products that label themselves as milk but do not meet that definition.

“A person shall not state on a label of a food product that the product is milk unless the product meets the definition of milk established in Section 7-403 of this title. The State Board of Agriculture shall establish and implement a plan to enforce the prohibition in subsection C of this section, including notice of the Board’s intent to implement a ban on all products that do not meet the requirements of subsection B of this section, including plant-based products mislabeled as milk.”

The ban could impact items like soy milk, coconut milk, and almond milk.

Rep. Grego told the Duncan Banner that he doesn’t want the items to completely disappear from Oklahoma stores. Instead, he says he wants them rebranded with different verbiage.

“The products will still be out there,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t see them going away, but they won’t be called milk. I don’t see a single product going away.”

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