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Dairy Facts 2016

Rep. Hartzler Asks FDA for Quick Action on Ultra-filtered Milk

May 10, 2017
Dykes (left) and Gus Jacoby, executive vice president, fluid dairy group, T.C. Jacoby & Co., meets with Rep. Hartzler.

The U.S. dairy industry’s dispute with Canada over its protectionist trade policies on ultra-filtered (UF) milk has drawn new and welcome attention to the use of UF milk in the United States. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, last week urged the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate existing federal regulations regarding UF milk and to allow regulatory discretion for its use in all standardized cheeses without the need for special labels. 

“Current FDA rules on the use of UF milk for cheese making are inconsistent and confusing to the domestic dairy industry and stifle product flexibility and innovation,” Hartzler said in her letter to Stephen Ostroff, M.D. acting FDA commissioner. She said she “failed to see the logic” that FDA used when it decided that UF milk processed at a plant can be labeled “milk,” but UF milk that is processed off-site must be labeled “ultra-filtered milk,” despite the products being molecularly identical.

“The inconsistency and uncertainty of these regulations is discouraging domestic cheese manufacturers from utilizing UF milk in their plants,” Hartzler said, adding that “a comprehensive, consistent approach is needed to allow maximum flexibility and transparency in America’s milk and cheese plants.”

Nearly 20 years have passed since IDFA joined others in the dairy industry in petitioning FDA to allow cheese companies to use ultra-filtered milk in all types of standardized cheeses. IDFA continues to focus on ways to resolve this regulatory uncertainty once and for all.

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, met with Hartzler last week to discuss ultra-filtered milk and dairy trade issues.


Read the letter here.

For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, at

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