The decades-long war over milk – with suppliers of cow juice on the one side and the people who increasingly produce ecru-colored plant and nut drinks on the other side – that comes as close to the enemy as possible.
The manufacturer of a popular brand of almond milk has announced a recall for what some say sacrilege did: somehow cow's milk came into their almond milk.
The recall concerns nearly 150,000 half gallon cartons of Almond Breeze almond milk to wholesalers in 28 states, according to the Food and Drug Administration. That's less than one percent of all chilled almond milk that HP Hood delivered last month.
HP Hood is a national dairy company based in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. His trademarks include Lactaid and Crowley. But the production of Almond Breeze, the brand of Blue Diamond Growers, a California almond cooperative, is also taken over by the company.
This revelation could be more than enough to piss the mark of Almond Breeze, in which almonds clad, a sea of pure white liquid.
It was a perception carefully cultivated by Blue Diamond Growers, whose website shows a picture of a single perfect almond on a wooden table and another photo of a farmer meticulously inspecting a flowering almond tree. If the photos were not enough, the text at the top of the page proudly announces: "Almonds are everything we do."
But Hood's statement about the confusion conjures up a different picture. The almond milk was finally made in a factory, which, as almond drinkers meanwhile know, played both sides in the Milk War.
"Although the almond milk is processed on a separate line and with filler, we have confirmed that the allergen control protocol has performed all standard validation tests in accordance with our allergen control program, this particular batch of almond milk was contaminated by a staff error with a container of milk," said a representative in an email to CBS News. "Hood made the decision to recall the entire product of this batch as a precautionary measure."
A person with a lactose allergy got sick from the almond milk, but Hood said the product was completely harmless to anyone without this allergy
For many it was another salvo in the bigger debate about what "milk" means. is and is not, with billions in revenue at stake.
People who ship the chest Cows' secretions argue that people selling hemp, nuts, and soy-based drinks use the centuries-old good name milk to market products better known as soy juice or hemp beverage.
In 2000 and 2010, the National Milk Producers Federation wrote to the FDA to argue for a more exclusive use of the word "milk" on labels. At that time, Federation spokesman Christopher Galen told USA Today: "We had to do something." This included the creation of a Facebook page: "They have no milk."
Last month, the FDA said it plans a strong start to enforce a regulation stating that the only products companies can call "milk" are things that come from "milking one or more healthy cows". In a statement at the Politico Pro Summit, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb summed it up as follows: "Not a Mandellaktat."
The debate has also entered the halls of Congress. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) filed an application to kill the expenses for the required FDA trial, which according to Roll Call would refer to the renaming, but it was defeated. After that, the National Milk Producers Federation declared a small victory.
"Today's vote should send a very strong message to food marketers who long ignored the FDA's food labeling standards by unduly using dairy terms on products with no dairy." The Federation said. "These days are numbered."
The other side argues that no consumer believes that when they buy, say, almond milk, that it comes from a cow. The declining sales of cow's milk and the exploding market for alternatives is not due to the labeling on carton, but rather to what's inside. More and more health-conscious consumers consider milk alternatives as simply better for them.
Nancy Chapman, executive director of the Soyfoods Association of North America, told the Washington Post in 2016 that her organization had conducted studies of buyers and found that "overwhelming majority" – 98 percent – did not confuse it with cow's milk.
"People pick soy milk because they know it's not from the dairy," she said.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Kemps was falsely listed as one of the HP Hood brands. Farmers co-op Dairy Farmers bought Kemps in 2011.
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