from blog reader sofia- as always, my readers are ever alert and on top of these things. if the salmon didn’t scare you into an urban farm, perhaps this next story will. i hate feeling like a cornered animal, but more and more i’m feeling like this food system is just out to get me at every turn- ugh… not a great feeling when there is so much to juggle, but it’s important to get the information out there nonetheless. if you remember schoolhouse rock (and who doesn’t? okay, yes, i am dating myself, but if you aren’t old enough to remember schoolhouse rock, you are missing out- so RUN to your nearest library and request they get you a DVD to watch! and rock out while you learn! 🙂 )- anyway- you will remember that knowledge is power. that was a brief moment of levity in something that is decidedly un-funny. so, sorry to be a downer yet again, but i couldn’t let this pass without passing it on. sorry.

but thanks to sofia for bringing to our attention- for real, because this stuff is mighty important…

from yahoo health/ healthline:

By Lisa Collier Cool
Feb 28, 2013

Got diet milk? In a highly controversial move, the dairy industry wants to market artificially sweetened milk—without any special label to alert consumers.

In a petition filed with the FDA, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) seek to change the definition of “milk” so that chemical sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can be used as optional ingredients not listed on the product label.

The FDA is seeking public comments on the petition. Click here to let the FDA—and dairy industry—know what you think.

If the petition—originally filed in 2009 and now under consideration by the FDA—is successful, these hidden additives could also be included in 17 other dairy products—including whipping cream, low-fat and non-fat yogurt, eggnog, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and half-and-half—without requiring any special labeling.

The Truth about 4 Natural Sweeteners
A Move to Boost Kid Appeal of Milk Products

The dairy industry contends that using artificial sweeteners like aspartame as optional ingredients in milk and other dairy foods without any special labeling would “promote more healthy eating” and boost kid appeal. Currently, milk consumption is dropping among both children and adults.

In part, the petition states:

IDFA and NMPF argue that nutrient content claims such as “reduced calorie” are not attractive to children and maintain that consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims. Further, the petitioners assert that consumers do not recognize milk—including flavored milk—as necessarily containing sugar. Accordingly, the petitioners state that milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can “more easily identify its overall nutritional value.”

The goal of the petition is to persuade the FDA to drop a requirement that milk and other dairy products be labeled as “artificially sweetened” if they contain aspartame or other calorie-free sugar substitutes. Last week, the FDA asked the public to submit comments and data about using artificial sweeteners in dairy foods. So far, there is no FDA ruling on the petition.

Currently, dairy producers can label products as “milk” if they are unsweetened or contain sweeteners with calories, such as high-fructose syrup or sugar, according to the Huffington Post. Examples of sweetened dairy products include chocolate or strawberry milk and flavored yogurts.

In addition, aspartame and other chemical sweeteners can currently be used in dairy products as long as they are clearly labeled accordingly.

there is more to the article talking about the health ramifications of artificial sweeteners, but this was the part that concerned me the most… if you want to read the rest, feel free to check it out on yahoo- i don’t want to shortchange the author…