Act No. 39 (S.105). Agriculture; dairy; technical corrections
This act makes numerous technical changes to existing dairy statutes with regard to the inspection and licensing of dairy operations, unpasteurized milk, standards and purity, milk handlers' licenses, bonds, the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council, and weights and measures. It also adds language requiring the agencies of agriculture, food and markets and of natural resources to create educational materials summarizing state regulations for on-farm compost facility operations.
Inspection and Licensing of Dairy Operations
The secretary of agriculture, food and markets is relieved from previous duties to inspect out-of-state dairy laboratories when such laboratories are deemed by the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments to be in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's publication "Evaluation of Milk Laboratories." Refusal to allow the secretary or an agent to inspect milk handlers' premises, records, or personnel will result in revocation of either handlers' permits or their ability to ship milk.
With regard to applications for a milk handler's license, the secretary is required to publish notice of all nondeficient applications at the applicant's expense, both on the agency's website and in a publication of general circulation within the state's dairy community. Interested parties have 14 days from the date of publication to request a hearing on an application. The secretary must grant the request for a hearing when the interested party can demonstrate "a reasonable belief that the applicant will not promote the general good of the dairy industry and the consuming public pursuant to Vermont rule 20-021-001 adopted by the agency . . ." When a showing is made, the secretary must hold a hearing. If no showing is made or if no hearing is requested, the secretary may hold a hearing at his or her discretion.
Milk found to contain drug residues that exceed tolerances established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may not be received by a milk dealer or handler until a sample of one complete milking has been tested and found negative. In the event of a second violation in a 12-month period, milk produced by that producer may not be received by a milk dealer or handler for up to two days and until a sample of one complete milking has been tested and found negative. Similarly, sale of livestock for slaughter containing drug residue in excess of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration standard is punishable by not more than $1,000.00 per violation.
Unpasteurized (Raw) Milk
The sale of unpasteurized milk must take place directly between a producer and consumer for personal consumption. Personal consumption refers to a consumer's use of raw milk for food or as an ingredient in a food product that will be eaten by the purchaser, members of the purchaser's household, or the purchaser's nonpaying guests.
Standards and Purity
All references to imitation dairy products have been omitted. Fat substitutes approved for insertion into a dairy product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and which are identified in the list of the product's ingredients are exempt from existing provisions prohibiting foreign fats in dairy products. Similarly, unpasteurized milk is exempt from existing provisions governing the marking of dairy product retail packages.
Milk Handlers' Licenses
Persons holding a valid milk handler's license are exempt from the licensing provisions governing frozen desserts (chapter 155) in Title 6.
Milk handlers are required to furnish surety bonds prior to purchasing milk from Vermont producers, milk cooperatives, or a marketing service owned by one or more milk cooperatives.
Milk cooperatives selling milk from a Vermont producer either directly or through a marketing service owned by one or more cooperatives are required to file monthly reports listing where milk from each bulk tank unit is sold and the volume of milk sold by Vermont cooperative members and independent producers who market through a milk cooperative.
Vermont Dairy Promotion Council
The per diem for appointed members of the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council is increased from $50.00 per day to $75.00 per day, not to exceed $750.00 annually.
Weights and Measures
The fine is increased to not more than $500.00 for altering a bulk tank weight conversion chart, failing to use the latest conversion chart, using a condemned tank as a measure, using a tank with legs that are not cemented to the floor, or otherwise changing the tank's level position.
On-Farm Composting Facilities
The agency of agriculture, food and markets and the agency of natural resources, in consultation with regional planning commissions, are required to summarize the following state regulations for on-farm compost facility operations and to make these summaries available to farmers: accepted composting practices, solid waste management rules, and Act 250 land use planning laws.
Effective Date: May 19, 2011
Also see: Conservation and Land Development; Act No. 18 (H.411). Conservation and development; Act 250; agricultural fairs
Also see: Conservation and Land Development; Act No. 37 (H.26). Conservation and development; water quality; fertilizer
Also see: Economic Development; Act No. 52 (H.287). Commerce and economic development; agriculture
Also see: Human Services; Act No. 57 (S.74). Human services; animal spaying and neutering program; Vermont board of veterinary medicine