NMPF Represents Members at Successful NCIMS Conference
May 3, 2023
The National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) addressed 72 proposals submitted to revise the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) and its related documents at a meeting in Indianapolis from April 3-7.
NMPF staff advocated positions of interest for dairy cooperatives and their producer members. Many NMPF members also attended and played key roles in the deliberations of the conference. The 2023 conference featured more than 400 attendees — a record — after taking a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NMPF was pleased with many of the outcomes of the proposals and made significant progress in achieving reasonable solutions on many key issues.
The conference once again highlighted the successful collaboration between the U.S. Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration, state regulators and dairy industry representatives to continue to promote and protect a safe supply of Grade A milk and milk products. A total of 40 proposals were passed by the delegates either as submitted or as amended. Below are the outcomes of the NMPF-submitted proposals.
- Proposal 207 was submitted to require a 48-hour notice prior to on-farm inspection. Reasons for this include the risks to human health following the COVID-19 pandemic, the farm’s biosecurity and overall personnel safety. The proposal was amended at the conference and passed through the delegates to be assigned to a standing or ad-hoc committee to review sections 8, 13, and 14 of the PMO. This is an important first step in recognizing the importance of biosecurity measures on dairy farms and will hopefully lead to further discussion of inspection notices.
- Proposal 301 provided a definition of equivalence for the USPHS/FDA responsibility to determine whether a foreign country’s regulatory program and government oversight of that program has an equivalent effect on the safety of the regulated milk or milk product. The term “equivalence” is important for international trade; unfortunately, the PMO has long lacked a definition. This proposal passed through the delegates as amended to include a plain language definition in line with that of the World Trade Organization. Defining equivalence provides clarity for industry, state and Federal stakeholders about foreign countries’ obligations to participate in the PMO. This proposal reinforces the importance of transparency when analyzing equivalence for foreign countries.
- Proposal 302 was voted no action as 301 was decided to be the proper pathway for equivalence.
Also to note, Antone Mickelson, NMPF’s NCIMS committee chair, was re-elected to fill the western states industry seat on the NCIMS Executive committee and NCIMS Vice Chair. The next conference will be held in 2025 in Minneapolis.