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Legislation prohibiting mislabeling of nondairy foods has been reintroduced in both houses of Congress. The legislation enhances efforts to encourage the FDA to enforce labeling regulations for plant-based imitators of milk, cheese, butter and other products.

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January 2019 U.S. milk production continued a four-month streak in which year-over-year growth was less than 1 percent. However, while cow numbers were down from a year ago, the U.S. dairy herd increased about 2,000 head from December, ending a string of seven straight months of contraction.

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U.S. dairy exports reached record-high levels in 2018 but volumes slumped in the final months of the year, according to a monthly summary from the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). Exports were down 11 percent in the fourth quarter after posting a 16 percent increase in the first three quarters.

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For the first time since 2013-14, the size of the U.S. dairy herd started a new year with fewer cows and heifers than the year before. The downturn is due to heavy cull cow slaughter and a small decline in replacement heifers.

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