Changes possible following successful legal defense
SACRAMENTO-California’s unique nutritional standards for milk—the highest in the nation—will benefit from improved enforcement through an updated program being developed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The changes are possible following the conclusion of a lengthy legal challenge brought by out-of-state dairy interests, which paid more than $900,000 in fines, penalties and interest in September after the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of state nutritional standards.
The updated enforcement program is currently under review by CDFA staff and will be rolled out to the dairy industry and the general public for comment, with the first presentation scheduled for Thursday December 6 at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Milk Inspection Advisory Committee, a body appointed to advise the department on milk inspection issues.
The proposal includes a higher degree of retail testing and a detailed protocol for sampling and notification, with potential prosecution by the Attorney General’s office for unfair business practices as the ultimate penalty.
California’s nutritional standards—and the state’s legal authority to enforce them—had been in contention for nearly a decade, starting with the Federal Nutritional Labeling Act in 1992, which temporarily nullified the standards, and continuing with the court challenge by the out-of-state dairy interests.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814