It’s not quite as bad as some have reported – cancer-causing artificial sweetening additives such as as aspartame likely would still need to be listed in tiny letters as ingredients. But the milk could otherwise be packaged, marketed, and sold as just “milk.” The stated goal is to reverse the trend of lagging dairy consumption by children, particularly in school. From the U.S. government’s Federal Register:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition requesting that the Agency 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.
IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener—including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame. IDFA and NMPF state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school.