S.458 - Milk Quality Standards Act of 2011

A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish and enforce a maximum somatic cell count requirement for fluid milk. view all titles (2)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish and enforce a maximum somatic cell count requirement for fluid milk. as introduced.
  • Short: Milk Quality Standards Act of 2011 as introduced.

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victorgalli 08/18/2011 6:28pm

This bill seems to use it reduction in the somatic cell count to garner support (i.e., if there is less pus in the milk, then we would all be better for it). However, the calculation of the somatic cell count is altered by this bill from an arithmetic mean to a geometric one. This would allow the numbers of the somatic cell counts per heard to become artificially lower.

I’m not sure why this calculation alteration is made, but it is questionable. For essentially no change in procedures, dairy producers can show that their numbers are lower than they actually are.

I would also like to point out that the International Dairy Food Association is in support of this bill, and Ms. Gillibrand (according to the “Money Trail” section of this website) has received over $39000 from the “Milk & Dairy Producers.” These flagrant conflicts of interest are concerning at best.

The industry being regulated should never be a primary actor in developing its own regulations.

victorgalli 08/18/2011 6:31pm

Oh, and just to eliminate any potential confusion, the geometric mean of a set of numbers will ALWAYS be lower than the arithmetic mean (if all the numbers aren’t the same, e.g., the set {5, 5, 5} will have equivalent geometric and arithmetic means).


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