January 17, 2008

Milk Labeling: They Listened, They Really Listened!

Who are the four, well-dressed gentleman above, you ask? Why, the remaining members of the legendary Kool & the Gang, of course.

And, why, you ask, is there a picture of Kool & the Gang on a food blog? Because, it's time to celebrate, baby!

It’s now official: Government bureaucrats who engage in sneaky maneuvers to the potential detriment of the public sometimes get their rear ends handed to them.

Or, more plainly put, milk labels in Pennsylvania with terms such as “rBGH free” will continue to be allowed!

In a letter to Pennsylvania milk processors, William Chirdon from the Department’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services (who I spoke to previously about this issue, and whose name I misspelled in that report!), explains that the PDA received “a great deal of input” on the (cough… BOGUS) labeling standards it issued last fall that would have banned any labels on milk that said the product was hormone- or antibiotic-free because they were cutting into Monsanto’s profits “misleading.”

Under new standards PDA released today, this information is allowed on a milk label, as long as it also contains language that explains the FDA has found “no significant difference” between milk from clean cows and those that have gotten Monsanto's special juice. From my experience, most labels already included this disclaimer.

This really is a stinging rebuke to what I still contend was some highly dubious and downright slimy actions by PDA Secretary Dennis Wolff—actions that were quickly met with a public outcry from food bloggers (pathetic self promotion, I know!) and, of course, dairy farmers who don’t use synthetic growth hormone in their dairy cattle and want to let people know about it.

To be honest, I’m shocked. I was almost certain that these guys would drag their feet for a few months, thinking the public would forget about it—get lost in a fog of American Idol and American Gladiator—and on some random Friday afternoon at 4:00, quietly announce the initial standards change would stand.

It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised once in a while.

1 comment:

Michol said...

Was surprised to see in the PG that they did the right thing on this one. Kool and the Gang were quite appropriate.