That could be the unanswered question, if two milk producing associations get their way.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to "amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient."
This would mean that milk, flavored milk, heavy cream, sour cream, yogurt, and other dairy products could be sold with ingredients such as sucralose or aspartame--and those ingredients would not have to be listed on the label.
According to the petition, the idea is to sell reduced-calorie flavored milk in schools. IDFA and NMPF claim that labels like "reduced calorie" are not attractive to children. They say that using artificial sweeteners without indicating that on the package would encourage children to drink more milk while not consuming extra calories from added sugar.
What do you think? My primary concern is that we as consumers won't be able to make informed decisions about food purchases. For example, my family and I avoid aspartame, sucralose, and other artificial sweeteners. If this change is approved, we'll have no way to know what we're purchasing.
The good news in this story is that it's not too late to give the FDA your opinion. Read more about the flavored milk petition, then go to regulations.gov (search for Docket No. FDA-2009-P-0147) to comment.