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NCIMS to Consider Revisions to Grade A Plant and Farm Rules

Apr 20, 2011

The National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) will consider 91 proposals to change Grade A plant and farm regulations in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) at its biennial meeting, April 28-May 4, in Baltimore, Md. These proposals affect all dairy plants producing Grade A products, such as fluid milk, cream products, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggnog, buttermilk and many dried dairy products.

"Every two years, the conference brings together dairy industry partners, state regulators and Food and Drug Administration officials to review and debate the public health impact and technical aspects of proposed changes to the PMO and other interstate milk shippers regulations," said Jon Gardner, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. "This year we've worked diligently with members and industry partners to find common ground for solutions that we hope will be acceptable to all."

The Milk Industry Foundation has submitted four proposals this year for consideration, and a delegation of MIF members will attend the meeting along with IDFA staff.

One MIF proposal would establish an Ad Hoc committee to align the PMO with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Another would amend the current PMO definition for milk products to clarify how different forms and types of milk and milk-derived ingredients will be determined on a minimum-weight basis.

MIF also proposes to increase the inspection frequency for state ratings of farms, plants and other facilities from 24 months to 36 months. The final MIF proposal seeks to modify the current state enforcement rating for Grade A plants to make them uniform throughout the NCIMS program.

Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, is this year's NCIMS program committee chair. She and Gardner met yesterday with their counterparts from the National Milk Producers Federation to discuss the proposals and build consensus. They all will meet tomorrow with FDA officials to review key proposals before the conference begins next month.

So far, 300 regulators and industry participants, including 120 processors, have registered to attend the conference. Visit the 2011 NCIMS Conference for registration and program details.

For more information, contact Gardner at (202) 220-3544 or jgardner@idfa.org or Frye at (202) 220-3543 or cfrye@idfa.org.

Members may login below to read a summary of the four proposals.

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