Consumers, Farmers Discuss Milk, Dairy Product Labeling

US - State Department of Agriculture policy makers heard passionate testimony on milk and dairy product labeling Tuesday from consumers who say they want as much information about their food as possible. Others said some of those labels mislead the public.
calendar icon 7 November 2007
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The meeting, which drew 75 people, was called after the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) last month sent warning letters to dairies with product labels deemed false or misleading. Those warnings prompted an estimated 25 to 35 calls and e-mails to the Ohio Department of Agriculture about this state's policies.

The PDA's letters pertained to so-called "absence labeling" — telling consumers what isn't in milk, such as antibiotics, instead of what is.

ODA Director Robert Boggs will consider Tuesday's comments in deciding how the department will address such labels.

At issue during much of Tuesday's testimony was recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), an animal drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993 for use in dairy cows to increase milk production. The FDA found milk from treated cows was safe for human consumption. Ohio State University experts on Tuesday said all milk contains rbST.

Source: Dayton Daily News

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