After years of lobbying efforts by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and national dairy organizations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will exercise enforcement discretion regarding the use and labeling of fluid ultrafiltered milk (UF milk) and fluid ultrafiltered nonfat milk (UF nonfat milk) to make standardized cheeses and cheese products.
The FDA says its action is intended to lessen the impact of recent trade policy changes in Canada that caused oversupply and pricing challenges in parts of the U.S., including Wisconsin and New York.
“We appreciate the administration’s continued focus on the Wisconsin dairy industry,” said Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel. “Today’s action will open up US markets to ultrafiltered milk, and that’s a huge win for America’s Dairyland.”
The US dairy industry has for years been asking for clarity and flexibility from FDA on the use of ultrafiltered milk for more than fifteen years. FDA’s action provides both.
“Because a regulatory process was bogged down in Washington, we have not been able to ship ultrafiltered milk domestically,” said Brancel. “Today’s decision opens up endless possibilities for our dairy industry.”
This past spring, trade policy changes in Canada effectively shut out exports of ultrafiltered milk from Wisconsin. This resulted in 58 Wisconsin producers losing a market for their milk.