The legal limit for somatic cell count remains at 750,000 cells per milliliter. An attempt to introduce a stricter standard was scuttled last week by the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments.
The National Mastitis Council and American Association of Bovine Practitioners had submitted a proposal to lower the limit gradually to 400,000 over the next several years.
The NCIMS turned down similar requests in 1999 and 2001, believing there was no pressing public health or food safety concern. This time around, the group had the chance to appoint a special study committee to look into the issue further but declined that option, as well.