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Level Field: Proposed bill would help PA dairy farmers

October 23, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Proposed Senate Bill 1330 would change the “sell by” date that is printed on milk labels in stores.

An outdated law that has held Pennsylvania dairy farmers at a disadvantage could soon be changed if a bill in the state legislature is passed this year.

The proposed bill, Senate Bill 1330, would change the “sell by” date that is printed on milk labels in stores.

“When people go to buy milk, one of the first things they look at is the date,” state Sen. Elder Vogel said. “It's important.”

Vogel, R-47th, said the current state law is both too restrictive for in-state farmers and misleading for consumers.

Currently, Pennsylvania law requires that the “sell by” date printed on milk labels is 17 days after the milk was pasteurized.

William Thiele holds up a bottle of Marburger chocolate milk that displays the “sell by” date. The outdated law that requires the “sell by” date instead of an expiration date on the bottle could soon be changed. photography by Harold Aughton/Butler Eagle

The proposed bill would change the date printed on labels to the “best by” date and allow farmers to request a date longer than 17 days.

Craig Marburger, vice president of Marburger Dairy in Evans City, said consumers tend to think the “sell by” date printed on the label is when the milk goes bad, leading to waste.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Sunday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.

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