Dairy farmers are demanding government to decree the word “milk” reserved for milk from mammals as they believe plant based product called milk is potentially misleading the consumer.
To some dairy farmer’s soy, almond, rice milk products are like a red rag to a bull. Australia’s National Party started a motion to urging the Federal government to ban plant based and other alternative products calling them milk as both science and history against it (Adelaide University).
Milk from mammals and plant derived liquids are biological are different and latter takes you back at least a thousand year. These products were used by people who were lactose intolerant and have some religious restriction of using animal products.
Secondly, consumer is misled thinking the protein content in two sources is same. Some of the dairy farmer organizations pushing to “reclaim” the milk label as their sole preserve are also deeply opposed to losing the right to call their products by names claimed by European producers. This is not the first time the dairy industry has sought to use regulation to prevent competition from plant-based products. This milk tilt seems similarly motivated. But in the unlikely event the dairy purists got their way, it probably wouldn’t achieve much. These markets are the most important niches for non-dairy milks. It is unlikely anyone is being deceived by drinking plant-based milks thinking that they are in fact dairy, or that dairy farmers would claw significant market share back by having a monopoly over the word.