DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
[Filed September 11, 1997, 2:05 p.m.]
Date of Adoption: September 11, 1997.
Purpose: To require warning labels on bottles of raw milk to inform consumers that milk which has not been pasteurized (raw milk) might contain harmful microorganisms that are especially hazardous to persons with lowered immunity. This will allow consumers to make informed choices concerning whether or not they want to purchase and consume milk that has not been pasteurized.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 15.36.021(1) and 69.04.398(3).
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 97-15-115 on July 22, 1997.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 1, amended 0, repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
September 11, 1997
WAC 16-101-800 Raw milk warning labels. (1) What authority does the department have to require warning labels on retail raw milk containers? This rule is being promulgated under authority of RCW 15.36.021(1) and 69.04.398(3).
(2) To what does this rule apply? The labeling requirements in this rule apply to containers of raw milk intended for sale to consumers in the state of Washington.
(3) Why is the Washington state department of agriculture adopting warning label requirements for retail raw milk sales? The department is adopting this rule to inform consumers about possible harm that may occur from consuming raw milk that contains harmful microorganisms.
(4) What purpose will this rule serve? The purpose of this rule is to warn purchasers about known hazards associated with the consumption of raw milk so that they may make informed choices about buying these products.
(5) What warning label must be on raw milk containers? The raw milk container must bear the following labeling: WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and persons with lowered resistance to disease have the highest risk of harm from use of this product.
(6) What are the specific requirements for warning labels on raw milk? The raw milk warning labels must meet the following requirements:
(a) The warning label type size must be consistent with the type size of other required labeling, but not less than one-sixteenth inch in height.
(b) The warning label must be conspicuous and in contrasting color from other labeling.
(c) The warning label must be prominently displayed on the container's principal display panel.
(d) The warning label must be clearly readable.