Darn that pesky Jamie Oliver for pointing out to our country how much sugar is in the flavored milk we’re pumping our kids full of. Really, did he think we’d do something reasonable like move our kids to unflavored milk or spread the word that milk isn’t actually necessary for kids to be healthy?

Perhaps maybe we did. Milk consumption is down. It may be because people realize that all the sugar in flavored milk is a problem, that water is healthier, or that they’re just drinking other sugary beverages. To combat the decrease in milk consumption, the dairy industry is trying to create what in essence would be diet flavored milk.

According to Rodale, artificially flavored milk is already legal, it just can’t be referred to as milk. The dairy industry, however, wants to change that and allow sweetened milk such as chocolate or strawberry to be sweetened with artificial sweeteners and still be called milk on the front of the package. The back of the package would indicate the artificial sweetener in the ingredients list. The Food and Drug Administration is considering the request.

Adding artificial sweeteners instead of sugar or high fructose corn syrup to flavored milk would certainly solve the problem of the added calories from sugar, but what about the problems that artificial sweeteners may cause?

Right now, the FDA is taking public comments on artificial sweeteners in milk between now and May 21, 2013. Anyone who has an opinion on it can weigh in and be heard. Will you be contacting the FDA about this?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Flavored milks may soon contain artificial sweeteners
The dairy industry wants the FDA to approve the use of artificial sweeteners in products that are labeled as milk.