CGFI Finds Misleading Milk Marketing in Arizona Stores

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Group will take findings to regulators.

The Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI) sent trained campaign workers into Arizona grocery and convenience stores over the weekend and found that many of the milk products in the dairy case are being sold based on false and misleading claims – many of which violate state and federal regulations for food marketing. CGFI ‘s surveyors covered 15 stores from 8 national and regional grocery chains in Phoenix to review dairy case offerings, interview store representatives and ask local customers for support for truthful and non-misleading marketing and labeling of food products – in particular milk.

Some findings from the weekend checks include:

  •     18 brands of milk offered in these stores ranging in prices per half gallon from $1.00 to $6.35 were identified and evaluated
  •     100% of all chains visited carried some milk products with false or misleading labels based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines and regulations
  •     94% of store representatives interviewed either declined or offered false information about milk safety or quality differences
  •     47% of store representatives interviewed claimed milk with different production-oriented marketing claims was healthier or more nutritious
  •     33% of store representatives interviewed claimed milk with different production-oriented marketing claims had quality or taste differences
  •     Of the 18 brands of milk found sold in the Phoenix area stores reviewed, more than half (55%) appear to violate state and federal guidelines for truthful and non-misleading marketing
  •     Hundreds of local Phoenix-area grocery customers signed “Truthful Food Claim” petitions urging local grocers to support non-misleading marketing and encouraging elected official and regulators to enforce existing regulations to protect consumers and farmers.

Claims like “no antibiotics,” “no hormones,” and “no pesticides” are prominent on labels of brands throughout the leading retail chains. None of these claims is valid on any dairy product as all milk contains hormones and none contains antibiotics. CGFI is contacting state and federal regulators and the various grocery chains with these findings.

The store checks and other consumer and retailer education efforts are part of an aggressive campaign to insure that dairy producers, retailers and consumers are informed and protected from unscrupulous marketing interests who seek to limit choices in how dairy farmers are allowed to run their businesses, to increase the costs of production and damage farmers’ ability to farm in the most environmentally sound and responsible manners available.

Alex Avery is the research director for the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues; his blog ( addresses marketing issues in the dairy industry which affect consumers, dairy farmers and processors. To learn more, visit or

CGFI is part of the Stop Labeling Lies Coalition of non-profit sound science, agricultural, consumer and public policy organizations. The Stop Labeling Lies project is independent from any commercial or for-profit interests. Coalition members represent a range of perspectives regarding the importance of consumer choice informed by truthful and non-misleading labeling and marketing of various goods and services. For more information or to contact a coalition member, e-mail us at info (at) with your specific inquiry.


Alex Avery

Center for Global Food Issues

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