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In Australia, raw milk has been sold as "bath milk" (milk that's used for a milk bath), and labelled as not fit for human consumption. However, some people have deliberately consumed such milk, and the producer of the milk has posted on Facebook about how raw milk is better than pasteurised milk.

The only term I can think of for this state of affairs is "off-label", which is discussed in this question, and the consensus is that it's not exactly standard English. Wiktionary doesn't have any synonyms for the term.

Are there any good terms for describing something being used other than as stated? A term about something being used in a way explicitly denied would be ideal, if it exists.

  • And no, "stupid", "idiotic" or "reckless" doesn't fit the bill either. – Andrew Grimm Dec 12 '14 at 2:32
  • Most examples I can think of involve illicit use/abuse of drugs, so they'd probably not be appropriate in a context like this. – Barmar Dec 12 '14 at 2:34
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Contraindicated, another word borrowed from medicine, means

to give indication against the advisability of (a particular or usual remedy or treatment).

I think off-label is a perfectly fine and well understood word (in the US anyway) for using a product in a manner unintended by the manufacturer. The fact that it's used predominantly in medicine doesn't limit its use to medicine.

  • This tub is already an off-label use for a bath. We can't imagine anyone repurposing the jet to, say, wash dishes. - The Atlantic
  • Like any other tool in the toolbox, Sac City is finding some off-label solutions.
  • But raw milk is not a product that has been manufactured (if you don't count the cow/camel/yak etc.). – Erik Kowal Dec 12 '14 at 3:07
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    @ErikKowal- substitute bottler/farmer/producer- I think your manufactured argument is, well, manufactured. – Jim Dec 12 '14 at 3:47
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To me, the adjectives that seem most fitting in this situation are 'non-standard', 'unconventional' and possibly 'unorthodox'.

The descriptor 'off-label' for the case you are describing has the problem that it implies a use for raw milk that is 'labelled' (or 'on-label').

But as there isn't one, such an implication cannot be drawn. To describe the use of raw milk for bathing as 'off-label' would therefore be misleading, or silly, or both.

To answer the second part of your question,

Are there any good terms for describing something being used other than as stated? A term about something being used in a way explicitly denied would be ideal, if it exists,

the terms 'unauthorized', 'unapproved', 'unsanctioned', 'forbidden', 'prohibited', 'illegal', 'non-allowed', 'impermissible' and 'non-permitted' all occur to me as possibilities.

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    Wouldn't 'have a bath in it' be the on-label use? – Roaring Fish Dec 12 '14 at 3:39
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    This article states "... Mountain View Organic Bath Milk, which Vicki Jones said was labelled as being “not for human consumption” and “for cosmetic purposes only”. (Emphasis mine) – Jim Dec 12 '14 at 3:51
  • @RoaringFish - I suppose we'd need to inspect the actual label of this 'bath milk' to get a clearer idea. Regardless, it seems to me that there is a pretty grey area between displaying a statement on a bath milk container that says 'Not fit for human consumption' and one that explicitly says 'Approved for bathing in'. For instance, I can't imagine that the Australian authority responsible for testing and certifying milk as fit for human consumption would actually pass raw milk as 'Certified suitable for bathing in' (or words to that effect) and allow/mandate it to be labelled accordingly. – Erik Kowal Dec 12 '14 at 3:54
  • I was taking the view that calling it 'bath milk' pretty well labels it as milk to be used in a bath. Regardless of that, if it says on the label that humans shouldn't drink it, but humans do, isn't that still 'off-label'? – Roaring Fish Dec 12 '14 at 4:14
  • @RoaringFish - We seem to have two differing takes on what 'off-label' means (or should mean). The way I understand your interpretation, any use that diverges from the one implied on the label (even when that label is there purely for marketing purposes, as in the case of 'bath milk') is off-label; my position is that 'off-label' ought to refer specifically to the use of a product in a manner that is not authorized by the official body responsible for certifying the safety of the product (e.g. the US Food & Drug Administration). So I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one – Erik Kowal Dec 12 '14 at 4:23

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