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Dairy groups want secret sweetened milk

Monday - 3/4/2013, 11:41am  ET

Diet Milk?

Danielle Kurtzleben, U.S. News & World Report

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WASHINGTON - The dairy industry wants to start using artificial sweeteners in flavored milks, such as chocolate or strawberry, without labeling it "reduced-" or "low-calorie."

Two milk industry trade groups, The International Dairy Foods Association and National Milk Producers Federation, jointly petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009 to use aspartame -- the artificial sweetener used in diet soda -- in milk, but to keep labeling it as just "milk."

Although the petition was filed five years ago, the FDA is now asking for the public's comments on the petition.

The groups say labeling the milk as "low-calorie" or something similar would turn kids off from drinking it, and that using the no-calorie sweetener would help counteract childhood obesity.

U.S. News & World Report reports the groups are also hoping the new products would help reverse the decline in the consumption of milk.

While the groups are hoping the "low-calorie" designation wouldn't appear on the label, aspartame would appear in the ingredients list on the back.

The FDA is accepting public comments on the petition here.

WTOP's Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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