Kansas Follows Ohio's Lead on Labeling
The Kansas Secretary of Agriculture last week released a draft rule on dairy product labeling that mirrors the emergency rule restricting the use of absence claims that was announced in Ohio earlier this year. While no formal public hearing date has been set, the Kansas Department of Agriculture plans to hold an informal meeting on April 22 to discuss the draft rule with industry stakeholders.
According to the draft rule, all dairy products featuring an artificial hormone-absence claim would be required to include a contiguous disclaimer stating that there is no difference between milk from cows treated with rbST and milk from cows not treated. The absence claim and disclaimer would be required to be the same font, size and color.
IDFA opposes the rule, which would take effect January 2010 if passed, and plans to submit comments. IDFA previously sent a letter to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Agriculture Secretary Adrian Polansky to express concern with the state's efforts to restrict absence labeling.
The draft rule follows consideration of a similar bill (SB 595) in the Kansas State Senate, which stalled after two days of contentious hearings held by the Senate Agriculture Committee. The bill would have prohibited compositional claims that could not be confirmed through laboratory analysis or that are supported solely by affidavits or statements. IDFA submitted testimony during these hearings, urging lawmakers to vote against the measure.
To read IDFA's testimony to the Kansas Senate Agriculture Committee, click here.
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Posted April 14, 2008