Skim Milk Dumping

Florida’s Ocheesee Creamery was in federal court this week facing the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which said Ocheesee’s all-natural skim milk must be labeled as “imitation” because the dairy does not add vitamins to the skim milk.

The department argues that because skim milk is milk with the cream removed, vitamins are removed as well, and because consumers expect the same nutritional value from skim milk as whole milk, vitamins must be added for the skim milk to be considered “real.” The all-natural dairy does not add vitamins, so in the department’s eyes, the skim milk is imitation.

The dairy said it sold its skim milk for three years without being labeled as imitation and without any issues with consumers. However, now that the dairy must label its skim milk as imitation — or not sell it at all, according to the department — the dairy is having trouble selling it, which is leading to the dumping of hundreds of gallons of skim milk per week.