Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding announced today that the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, or IRRC, has approved new regulations that bring Pennsylvania's regulatory standards for milk processing into step with national industry standards.

IRRC voted on the regulations at a public meeting today. After approval by the Attorney General's office and time for review by the state House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees, the regulations are expected to be published and effective in February 2011.

The regulations update standards for pasteurized milk and milk for manufacturing, and clarify requirements for the production of raw milk for human consumption.

Redding said most milk processors have already been following national standards, but regulatory changes were needed to ensure the state's standards were current and matched those of the industry.

"Pennsylvania is a national leader in milk production, and each day producers and processors work hard to ensure a high quality, safe product makes it into the hands of consumers," Redding said. "Thanks to the approval of these regulations, the dairy industry will have an updated set of scientific standards that reinforce the good work already being done."

Standards for on-farm and retail sales of raw milk for human consumption are also clarified in the regulations.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture