Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt March 8 - 2017
Pope urges faithful to
consult bible as often
VATICAN CITY -
Pope Francis has called
on the faithful to consult
the Bible with the same
frequency as they might
consult their cellphones
Francis urged a packed
St. Peter's Square fol-
lowing his weekly Ange-
lus blessing Sunday to
give the Bible the same
place in daily life as cell-
phones, asking: "What
would happen if we
turned back when we
forget it, if we opened it
more times a day, if we
read the message of God
contained in the Bible
the way we read mes-
sages on our cellphones."
The message was a
twist on Francis' fre-
quent use of social media
to reach the faithful,
including regular mes-
sages on Twitter. (AP)
Taxi drivers at the ANR Robinson International Airport ,
Crown Point, wait for tourists to arrive from the Virgin
Atlantic Airlines on Tuesday 7th February, 2017.
Tobago's tourism industry is currently in a slump.
Visitor arrivals moved from 100,000 less than ten years
ago to 18,000 for the same period last year.
Mayo, wings, butter: 'fake milk'
is the latest food fight
NEW YORK - Is "fake milk" spoiling the dairy
Dairy producers are calling for a crackdown on
the almond, soy and rice "milks" they say are
masquerading as the real thing and cloud the mean-
ing of milk. A group that advocates for plant-based
products, the Good Food Institute, countered this
week by asking the Food and Drug Administration
to say terms such as "milk" and "sausage" can be
used as long as they're modified to make clear
what's in them.
It's the latest dispute about what makes a food
authentic, many of them stemming from develop-
ments in manufacturing practices and specialized
DiGiorno's frozen chicken "wyngz" were fodder
for comedian Stephen Colbert. An eggless spread
provoked the ire of egg producers by calling itself
"mayo." And as far back as the 1880s, margarine
was dismissed as "counterfeit butter" by a Wis-
consin lawmaker. The U.S. actually spells out the
required characteristics for a range of products such
as French dressing, canned peas and raisin bread.
It's these federal standards of identity that often
trigger the food fights.
COW, NUT, BEAN
Though soy milk and almond milk have become
commonplace terms, milk's standard of identity
says it is obtained by the "complete milking of one
or more healthy cows." That's a point the dairy
industry is now emphasizing, with the support of
lawmakers who last month introduced legislation
calling for the FDA to enforce the guidelines.
"Mammals produce milk, plants don't," said Jim
Mulhern, president of the National Milk Producers
The federation says it has been trying to get the
FDA to enforce the standard since at least 2000 ,
and that the lack of enforcement has led to a pro-
liferation of imitators playing "fast and loose" with
dairy terms. Those products often refer to them-
selves as "soymilk" or "almondmilk," single words
that the dairy industry says is a way to get around
the guidelines for "milk."
The Plant Based Foods Association, which rep-
resents companies like Tofurky and milk alternatives,
says standards of identity were created to prevent
companies from passing off cheaper ingredients on
customers. But the group says that's not what soy,
almond and rice milk makers are trying to do.
Those companies are charging more money, and
consumers are gravitating toward them, said Michele
Simon, the group's executive director.
The FDA says it takes action "in accordance with
public health priorities and agency resources."
EDIBLE, BUT EGGLESS
The little-known Association for Dressing and
Sauces showed its might in a 2014 mayonnaise
melee. The group repeatedly complained to the
FDA that an eggless spread was calling itself Just
Mayo, noting that under the federal rules mayon-
naise is defined as having eggs.
Hellmann's mayonnaise maker Unilever, one of
the association's members, had sued Just Mayo's
maker citing the same issue. That lawsuit was
dropped after the company faced blowback from
the vegan spread's supporters.
The dressings and sauces group wasn't the only
one upset by Just Mayo's name. The CEO of the
American Egg Board, which represents the egg
industry, also tried unsuccessfully to get a consul-
tant to stop the sale of Just Mayo at Whole Foods.
The revelations led to an investigation by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soon after, the egg
industry group's CEO retired earlier than expected.
As for Just Mayo, the company worked out an
agreement with the FDA to keep its name - with
some strategic tweaks to its label to make clear it
does not contain eggs.
STRAINING FOR YOGURT
It was a milk protein concentrate at issue in a
lawsuit over Yoplait Greek.
That ingredient isn't listed in the FDA's standard
of identity for yogurt. What's more, the suit said
General Mills relied on the ingredient to thicken
its yogurt, rather than straining it the way other
Greek yogurts are made.
"Not only was it not Greek yogurt, it wasn't
yogurt at all," said Brian Gudmundson, the Min-
nesota lawyer who filed the suit.
The case was ultimately dismissed by the judge,
who said the matter would be better handled by
the FDA. Gudmundson said he reached out to the
agency afterward, but nothing came of it.
Yoplait Greek's maker, General Mills, says it has
since made recipe changes to its yogurts and it no
longer uses milk protein concentrate in Yoplait
Greek. The company had also noted in legal filings
that the FDA said during a seminar that milk pro-
tein concentrate could be used in yogurt.
In 2002, the presence of milk protein concentrate
in Kraft Singles was also called out in a warning
letter from the FDA, which noted it was not listed
as an ingredient in the definition for "pasteurized
process cheese food." Kraft now labels the Singles
as a "pasteurized prepared cheese product."
WYNGZ, NOT WINGS
"Wyngz" scored a high-profile TV appearance
not long after DiGiorno launched frozen meals with
pizza and the boneless chicken pieces in 2011.
"The Colbert Show" called the spelling out as a
"government-mandated" way to get around the
fact that they're not made of wing meat. Colbert
cited a page on the USDA's website that said the
odd spelling could be used for a product that is
"in the shape of a wing or a bite-size appetizer
type product," but not made entirely from wing
"No other misspellings are permitted," the web-
The story behind the USDA declaration remains
a bit of a mystery. DiGiorno owner Nestle said it
wanted to call the boneless chicken pieces "wings,"
since it believes people understand that "boneless
wings" are not whole wings. The company says
the USDA instead proposed "wyngz."
Nestle proudly noted that it believes it was the
first, and perhaps only, company to approach the
USDA with an issue that led to the "wyngz" deter-
The USDA says a company had made the request
to use the word to describe a product, and did not
It's not just soy and almond milk that have drawn
the ire of the dairy industry. In 1886, dairy pro-
ducers supported a federal tax on margarine, which
was dubbed "counterfeit butter" by representative
William Price of Wisconsin, a major dairy state.
In 1902, that law was amended to increase the tax
on margarine dyed to look like butter, says Ai Hisa-
no, a business historian at the Harvard Business
Some states went so far as to prohibit the sale
of dyed margarine, which was naturally white.
Hence a vintage ad that declares Parkay margarine
"Golden Yellow and ready to spread!" - with an
asterisk noting, "in 26 states ."
To get around state bans, Hisano said margarine
makers provided yellow solution capsules so peo-
ple could dye the margarine themselves.
Fast forward to today, and food identity more
broadly remains a polarizing topic.
Groups such as the dairy federation say federal
standards of identity ensure people get what they
expect from products labeled with terms such as
"milk." Animal rights advocates who support plant-
based alternatives question whether the standards
of identity remain relevant. Matt Penzer, an attor-
ney for the Humane Society of the United States,
said some standards are outdated, but are being
used by the established players to fend off com-
petition and innovation. (AP)
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