The European Community has forbidden the use of the word “milk” to name “plant milks”, only milks from animals can be named “milk” (Council Regulation EU 1308/2013).
They say that the term “plant milk” confuses consumers.
Is the illegalization of the term “plant milk” in Europe fair ?
1- Let´s see what the dictionaries say:
English dictionaries often use Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) as a reference. In his “ A dictionary of the English language” he concludes that “milk” is “ the mammary secretion of the female mammal”, also that “there are some plants that produce milk when you cut them” and “almond milk” and “pistachio milk” are also mentioned.
Noah Webster (1758-1843), the “father” of the American-English dictionaries, in his “An American Dictionary of English Language” defines milk as “the mammary secretion of the female mammal” but also includes the definitions:
<<White juice found in some plants>>
<<The emulsion of bruising seeds; as with almond milk… coconut milk…>>
Actually, the Oxford English Dictionary and the Cambridge English Dictionary, in their second definition of the term “milk” say:
<<White juice from some plants such as coconut milk>>
Mmmm… very interesting !!
Similar definition we find in other languages as German, Spanish, and many more.
2- Let´s have a look at what History says, and why 300 years ago Noah Webster and Samuel Johnson said that milk has two origins; both animal and vegetable.
Since at least 1000 years ago, “ plant milks ” have been one of the most important star products in main European countries used as a basic commodity for medicine and cookery. This has been confirmed in an infinity of ancient manuscripts and other recent documents.
THEN, if language and history both asset the term “milk” to talk about milk obtained from vegetable or plants,
What is the basis and criteria of the European Community to forbid the term “plant milk”?
“Plant milks” are forbidden because of the pressure placed on the parliament of Brussels by the lactose lobbyists who camp out on their doorstep. Pure economic interests are the reason of the prohibition of the term “plant milks”, against what the language and the history show us.
And meanwhile , what´s up with the USA?
In America and other continents there has been no problem up until now to label a vegetal milk as “soy milk” or “almond milk” while in Europe they must be advertised using euphemisms as “soy drink” or “almond beverage”.
This is happening now: The strong lactose lobbyists of the “National Milk Producers Federation” (NMPF) have asked the “Food and Drugs Administration” (FDA) to forbid the use of the term “plant milk” because it “confuses consumers”.
We hope that the European Union will rectify this problem and permit us to use the term “plant milk” again, as it has been used for thousand of years through language and history.
We also hope that the FDA don´t give into the pressure of the lobbies.
Because of that Chufamix has just presented an official petition/request to the European Parliament to please respect history, language and social mindset.
We are “plant-milk-addicts” and we´ll keep on defending our right to say “plant milk” freely.
Because we know that the lobbies start making small movements like these, but…