Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kansas Farmers' Union: "rBST Hearing To Be Held on Dairy Labeling! - Thurs., Feb. 26"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2009                                 


DONN TESKE, 785-770-0336 


EMIL MUSHRUSH 620-241-6630


rBST Hearing To Be Held On Dairy Labeling!


Topeka - The House Ag Committee will hold a hearing THIS Thursday, February 26th, on HB 2295 at 3:30 p.m. in Docking Room 783, according to Kansas Farmers Union President Donn Teske. HB 2295 is "AN ACT concerning milk and dairy products; relating to labels for such products."


“What this means in English is that this bill addresses the labeling of dairy products in regards to rBST content,” Teske said. “It will create regulations in Kansas that go beyond FDA guidelines that have been working fine for decades”.


Teske said that legislation targeted toward this was introduced last year in the Senate Ag Committee and was strongly opposed by a huge contingency of opponents. Then the same issue was fought all through the summer as the Kansas Department of Agriculture considered enacting these regulations without legislation. He said this was a unique collaboration when farm groups, advocacy groups, citizen consumers, and the dairy processing industry all were allied in opposition to these regulations.  “They all felt these regulations infringe on the public right to know and would also greatly inhibit interstate shipment of dairy products,” he said.


“The Department of Agriculture chose not to enact the regulations,” Teske commented.


“Now proponents are trying to run this legislation through by introducing it in the Taxation Committee (Taxation committee???), which gives it a much greater edge for passage”, he explained.


“We feel this is wrong,” Teske charged.  “To put it bluntly, this legislation would make telling the truth illegal. How? One example: if a dairy producer does not use rBST and chooses to say this with the wording of ‘rBST free’ on the label of his product, this regulation would make this wording unlawful!”


Teske said that to request to testify or to express your opinion of this proposed legislation, contact the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Larry Powell at: 785-296-7694 or email him at:pat.matzek@house.ks.gov.  He said that opponents should act immediately because the Ag Committee Hearing is only 2 days away.



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