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Dairy Groups Urge Senators to Include Raw Milk Facilities in Food Safety Regulations
Date:11/16/2009

Other Requests: Harmonize Regulations and Avoid Duplicate Fees

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although unpasteurized, or raw, milk products pose a significant food safety hazard, facilities producing these products are not covered by any of the food safety regulations proposed so far this year by Congress. These facilities also remain exempt from existing regulations enforced by all states, which are know as the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), that set the standard for maintaining the safety of the nation's milk and milk product supply. Cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that have been aged to eliminate the risk of food borne illnesses are not considered raw milk products.

The International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation have asked senators planning to mark up key food safety legislation next week to rectify this omission. In a letter to Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and Michael Enzi (R-WY), the committee's ranking member, the dairy groups called for requiring all facilities producing raw or unpasteurized milk products for direct human consumption to register with FDA and adhere to the tried-and-true food safety requirements that are followed by all other facilities producing milk products.

"Before pasteurization became widely utilized during the 1920s, human consumption of raw milk was one of the major sources of food borne illnesses and one of the primary causes of infant mortality," said IDFA CEO Connie Tipton and NMPF CEO Jerry Kozak in the letter. "It is important to the health of the American public, and for the continued confidence in the dairy industry, that the new food safety legislation bolsters the success of the PMO program and applies any new FDA requirements to raw milk and raw dairy products."

The PMO covers all aspects of hazard analysis, planning and monitori
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SOURCE International Dairy Foods Association
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