IDFA recently sent a letter to the governor of Puerto Rico asking him to oppose a proposed bill that would restrict sales of imported ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk in the Commonwealth. The bill, S. 1237, aims to ban the sale of UHT milk that does not arrive in Puerto Rico within 30 days of its manufacturing date. Several IDFA members currently ship UHT products to Puerto Rico and would be affected by the ban.
UHT milk is fresh milk that has been specially processed so that it will not need refrigeration until the container has been opened.
In the letter to Governor Luis Fortuno, IDFA noted that the bill's claim that UHT milk loses nutritional value through the ultra-high temperature pasteurization process is unfounded. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states the shelf life of properly stored UHT products is considerably longer than one month.
"According to the Food and Nutrition Service at USDA, UHT milk has the same nutritive value as milk processed with normal pasteurization," the letter stated. "Such products are already stamped with expiration dates so that consumers, and retailers, can readily determine the remaining shelf life of the product."
IDFA also reminded the governor that this legislation would place Puerto Rico out of compliance with the National Conference of Intrastate Milk Shipments (NCIMS), which includes the Commonwealth.
The bill, currently under consideration in the Senate of Puerto Rico, would need the governor's signature to become law.
Read IDFA's letter here.
For more information, contact Kyle Shreve, IDFA coordinator of legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3533.