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Health Groups Concerned About Sweeteners In Milk

OPB | April 11, 2013 midnight | Updated: June 7, 2013 10:18 a.m. | Portland

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A coalition of health groups — including Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility — is concerned about a milk industry plan to use zero-calorie sweeteners in chocolate milk — and not to notify consumers on the front label.

The International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation have petitioned the FDA to use sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin in chocolate and strawberry milk — instead of calorie-laden sweeteners like sugar, honey and high fructose corn syrup.

The aim, they say, is to reduce childhood obesity.

Producers also say labels like ‘reduced calorie’ aren’t attractive to kids. So they don’t want to advertise that on the label.

Emma Sirois with Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility sees two problems.

First, she says labeling the sweeteners on the front would be transparent.

“And then the second issue is concern about non-nutrative sweeteners in beverages and their relationship to poor health outcomes and especially with children.”

The milk industry would still include all ingredients on the nutritional facts label. The FDA is taking public comment until the 21st of May.

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