The members of the National Milk Producers Federation want you to know something: Soy milk is not milk.
What's more, the FDA is "letting the bastardization of dairy terms proliferate," a federation spokesman told USA Today.
The NMPF wrote to the FDA yesterday, asking the commissioner to crack down on all those non-dairy dairy products — your rice milk, your soy cheese — that "illegally mislead the public by inappropriately employing names and terms reserved by law for standardized dairy products."
U.S. soy milk sales have risen from $124 million in 1996 to more than $1 billion in 2008, the USA Today article says. The soy people have argued that as long as the word "soy" modifies the word "milk," consumers won't be confused.
Update: By popular demand, here's a link to the definition of milk, as spelled out in the Code of Federal Regulations. ("Milk is a lacteal secretion ... ")