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FDA Stuns Almond Milk-Lovers With Startling Admission That 'Almonds Don't Lactate'

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Every once and a while, you come upon a piece of information so contrary to what you once held to be true that it shakes you to your core. Maybe it was the moment you discovered Santa Claus isn't real, or when you realized you don't actually have to wait an hour after eating to hop back in the pool.

Well, prepare to have your mind blown once again, because the head of the FDA just revealed something startling about the source of almond milk that may throw you for a loop: almonds don't actually lactate

It's cool, we'll give you a minute to catch your breath.

In a keynote address at Politico's Pro Summit earlier this week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb revealed that the current administration has set in motion a plan to crack down on the use of the term "milk" in the marketing of nondairy products like soy and almond beverages. As a result, he said that the agency will soon release official guidance on new "identity policies" that would restrict the ability to market something as milk to products derived from lactating animals. Then Gottlieb uttered the bombshell that would make Robert De Niro's character in Meet the Parentsproud.

"An almond doesn't lactate, I will confess," he said. 

All kidding aside, the acknowledgement -- which was met with laughter from the crowd -- signals that many popular nondairy products may be labeled differently in the future. However, Gottlieb said the FDA also plans to start gathering public input before moving forward on totally changing the rules for milk products.

Amidst the barrage of almond, soy, oat, hemp, and other "milks" that have taken a share of the market in recent years, the dairy industry has been petitioning the FDA to ban the use of "milk" in nondairy products, and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin has even introduced a bill that would enforce as much.

Gottlieb said these changes are going to take some time, but don't be shocked if you start seeing aisles full of of "almond sludge," "coconut goop," and "liquid soy" before too long.

h/tThe Cut

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.