The USDA has finalized its decision to make milk price regulation more consistent for all dairy processors, including those who operate their own dairy farms.

Uniformity for milk prices      

Producer-handlers with more than three million pounds of Class I sales per month will become fully subject to federal order pricing and pooling regulations in all federal milk marketing areas. In addition, the limit exempting any handler from pricing and pooling provisions remains at 150,000 pounds of Class I sales per month.

Dairy industry representatives mostly applauded the final rule. Bob Yonkers, chief economist for the International Dairy Foods Association, said his group, along with the National Milk Producers Federation, had argued that exempting all producer-handlers from federal order pricing and pooling provisions would continue to create “disorderly marketing conditions.”

Misleading health claim warning to 17 manufacturers     

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to 17 food companies that it says are mislabeling food products. The FDA says the labels violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The warning letters went to Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, Gorton’s, Schwan’s Consumer Brands, Spectrum Organic Products, Beech-nut, PBM Products, Nestle, Nestle Nutrition, Redco Foods, Sunsweet Growers, Fleminger, POM Wonderful, Ken’s Foods, Pompeian,  Diamond Food, First Juice, Want Want Foods and Nature’s Path Foods, Inc.

“Today, ready access to reliable information about the calorie and nutrient content of food is even more important, given the prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases in the United States,” said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, in the letter.

She also expressed hope that the letters would clarify the FDA’s expectations for food manufacturers as they review current labeling.

The violations cited in the letters include unauthorized health claims, unauthorized nutrient content claims, and the unauthorized use of terms such as “healthy,” and others that have strict, regulatory definitions.

Companies that received warning letters were given 15 business days to inform the FDA of the steps they will take to correct the labeling.