The Feb. 11 Economy & Business article “Dairy industry stakes claim on ‘milk’ ” reported that the dairy industry has enlisted members of Congress in its quest to stop soy- and almond-milk makers from using the word “milk” on their packaging.
The article made clear that no one is confused by the labels on cartons of soy and almond milk and also that this effort represents a brazen dairy industry attempt to harm its competition by creating government-enforced market interference. Missing was the fact that what the dairy industry is asking for would also violate the First Amendment free-speech rights of soy- and almond-milk makers. According to clear Supreme Court precedent, for the government to dictate that almond-milk producers cannot call their product “almond milk,” it would need to have some legitimate government purpose, and supporting one industry over another does not qualify. Free speech and free markets are both bipartisan values, and so the dairy industry will fail in its latest attempt to fight unfairly with its plant-based competitors.
Bruce Friedrich, Washington
The writer is executive director
of the Good Food Institute.