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Vegan People
Respecting All Animals
'Yoghurt' definitions and labeling 
31st-May-2013 06:08 pm
There's a brand of coconut (COYO) yoghurt in Australia that is fairly new. Early on they said the yoghurt was vegan but it wasn't, and they acted quite well upon being told so and quickly changed it. They seem like an okay company, and their products are alright.

Anyway, yesterday I heard they put out the following announcement:

Dear Customers,

Over the following weeks the labels on our products will be changed.

We have been advised by the Queensland Government Health Department who are responsible for policing the Food Safety Act 2006 that CO YO Corporate Pty Ltd are in breach of the Act in terms of product labelling.

They have advised us that CO YO Coconut Milk Ice Cream and CO YO Coconut Milk Yoghurt do not comply with the Food Safety Act 2006 and its definition of Ice Cream or Yoghurt.

In part the Act defines milk quote
"Milk means the mammary secretions of milking animals"

Because we use coconut milk we are unable to call our products by their current name. This has meant that we have had to organise new labels for our products which are now known as

CO YO Coconut Milk Yoghurt Alternative
CO YO Coconut Milk Ice Cream Alternative

Currently we are labelling yoghurts with a sticker that identifies these product as Yoghurt Alternative and Ice Cream Alternative (new labels are currently being processed).

My reaction to this? 'FGBUHDFGTSBUP!'

So, in short, Queensland law defines milk in a certain way, and therefore products commonly milk based (?) must contain dairy milk (?), and therefore because COYO use 'coconut milk'(?!) they can't call their products 'yoghurt' or 'ice cream'.

This sounds absolutely ridiculous to me. I mean, apart from the initial premise, the logic of the argument as it appears in the brief (which may be simplified and cut out important info) is extremely flawed.

The way I read this is that COYO got a notice about this and, thinking they're a small company and can't afford to fight a simple labeling issue in court, chose to comply. Which is sad.

It reminds me of a few years ago when the US dairy industry (I'm guessing, but my memory is fuzzy) tried to stop soy/rice/almond milk etc from using the word 'milk' - but that campaign ended pretty quickly because nobody took it seriously.

Now I have to put up with seeing 'yoghurt alternative' written on the shelves of my local co-op, furthering the common idea that foods made without dairy aren't 'real'.

Thanks, Queensland.

31st-May-2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
sounds like the the reason why "peanut butter" is called "Peanut cheese" in Holland, because there was a law that you couldnt call anything "butter" that wasnt made of milk.

its the same here in germany. soy milk is always called "soy drink", etc.
1st-Jun-2013 02:32 am (UTC)
That's funny that it can be called "peanut cheese" given the reason for not calling it "peanut butter".

Here in the US I've seen unanimously soy milk on labels, but sometimes rice milk called "rice drink".
1st-Jun-2013 11:49 am (UTC)
Usually in ingredients labels (as for soy cheese and processed foods containing soymilk) they call it "soy beverage."
1st-Jun-2013 11:46 am (UTC)
The French translation of "tofu" is apparently "soy cheese" (fromage de soja.)

Edited at 2013-06-01 11:46 am (UTC)
1st-Jun-2013 01:46 pm (UTC)
I wonder if that is only for QLD, and if so, why they would change ALL the labels. Surely they would just change them for the items going to QLD?

And yes, it's frustrating. They're fine with it being called coconut MILK (even though it isn't a mammary secretion), but coconut milk YOGHURT? HEAVEN FORBID!

I'm also just disgusted that they seem fine with the idea of milk being the mammary secretions of milking animals and they're totes cool with ingesting that.
3rd-Jun-2013 02:08 pm (UTC)
So, what do they call canned coconut milk?
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