when “non-dairy” gets scary

milk gone badI just had to pass along this post at The Ethicurean about Milk Protein Concentrates (MPCs) and their effect on the US dairy industry. It’s worth a read, but I’ll cut right to the really scary part:

Perhaps because of MPCs’ sketchy origins, they have never been approved as a food ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (They are, however, a common ingredient in some brands of glue.) The FDA has a list of additives it allows in processed food – the GRAS list, for Generally Recognized as Safe – and MPCs ain’t on it. That means the FDA hasn’t carried out safety tests on MPCs, as the law requires for any additive on the GRAS list.

I was therefore surprised to learn that MPCs are widely used in dairy products manufactured and sold in the United States. Kraft Singles have them, as did most other brands of processed cheese slices that I checked in the grocery store last night. Some snack foods, coffee creamers, candies, and nutritional drinks have them. They’re not approved by the FDA as a food ingredient, but they’re in a whole lot of food.

Yeeeeah. And we wonder why we end up with food scares and recalls. Pay attention to where your food comes from, kids.

[from The Linkery via John]