Alternative, plant-based “milks,” often called alt-milks, have catapulted in popularity the past few years. Companies keep popping up; brands are rolling out new products; growers are eager to join the action. But the alt-milk industry sometimes resembles a war zone. Dairy groups say the term “milk” should be permitted only on the labels of animal-derived products, arguing that sweeping dairy imitators under the same umbrella dupes consumers into thinking the two are nutritionally equal. The dairy industry has pushed the Food and Drug Administration to enforce regulations, and FDA this fall is considering doing so. But despite conflicts, the alt-milk industry is making a splash.

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