SCC Certification in Flux
U.S. awaiting EU response; implementation period extended
USDEC staff continues to monitor closely the discussions between the United States and the EU regarding the EU’s requirements for somatic cell count (SCC) testing, which mandate raw milk sampling be conducted at the farm level—rather than at the farm or processing level.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other U.S. agency staff met July 8 with EU authorities to discuss SCC certification requirements and followed up by sending a copy of the meeting minutes to the EU commission for confirmation. The EU response was delayed by the bloc’s traditional summer recess but is expected soon.
Once FDA reviews the EU’s correspondence, the agencies, in conjunction with the U.S. dairy industry, will develop a draft implementation program that would allow AMS to issue a new certificate. The U.S. industry would get time to review and comment. Any final proposal would include an implementation period to allow the industry time to make the changes needed to comply with EU regulations.
“Any program specifics at this point are preliminary. Until Europe confirms the minutes from the July meeting, it is too early to speculate on the elements of a testing program or the potential repercussions of tests that exceed EU SCC ceilings,” says Matt McKnight, USDEC vice president, market access and regulatory affairs. “However, we do know that the United States will not need to have a new testing and certification program in place by Dec. 1, 2010, as previously thought, and industry comments will be critical to any proposed program.”
From: UD Dairy Export Council September 2010 newsletter