Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/28/1999 03:26 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 110 - SALE/LABELING OF MEAT/MILK PRODUCTS                                                                                    
Number 2026                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG announced the committee's next order of business                                                              
is HB 110, "An Act relating to the sale, offer to sell, and                                                                     
labeling of fluid milk, meat, and meat products."                                                                               
Number 2031                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS, sponsor of HB 110, noted it is his intention                                                             
to move the legislation.  He drew the committee's attention to the                                                              
proposed Version K committee substitute (CS).  The difference                                                                   
between Version K and most previous CS [Version I] is the addition                                                              
of the language, "and may also state "No significant difference has                                                             
been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST                                                                  
treated cows."",  after "or "farmer certified rBST-free,"", in                                                                  
Section 2 of the legislation on page 2, lines 2 and 3.                                                                          
Number 2095                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO made a motion to adopt the proposed Version                                                               
K CS for HB 110, labeled 1-LS0408\K, Bannister, 4/27/99.  There                                                                 
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
Number 2109                                                                                                                     
PETE FELLMAN, Researcher for Representative John Harris, Alaska                                                                 
State Legislature, came forward as the bill sponsor's                                                                           
representative.  In response to the chairman's request for an                                                                   
explanation of the difference, Mr. Fellman agreed it is as was                                                                  
stated by Representative Harris.  The disclaimer requested by the                                                               
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was added to the                                                                 
legislation; this is also the same wording in the "Interim Federal                                                              
Guidelines [Food and Drug Administration (FDA)]" regarding the                                                                  
labeling of milk for bST and rGBH.  In response to the chairman's                                                               
question regarding the location of the change, Mr. Fellman directed                                                             
the committee's attention again to page 3, lines 2 and 3.                                                                       
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted the language is "may also state" and                                                                    
therefore is not mandatory.  The chairman asked Mr. Fellman if that                                                             
is correct.                                                                                                                     
MR. FELLMAN indicated he thinks it is.  Mr. Fellman indicated he                                                                
asked the bill drafter to take the language word-for-word out of                                                                
the FDA guidelines.  He noted the use of "may" in a previous                                                                    
sentence and commented it might be a matter of grammar.                                                                         
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated "may" is not used as a matter of                                                                    
grammar in legislation; it is a dictum or discretion.                                                                           
Number 2180                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI indicated she feels this satisfies the                                                                 
concern she had raised at the previous hearing [April 26, 1999].                                                                
If a dairy farmer wishes to sell his/her milk to the [military]                                                                 
bases or the school lunch program, he/she can use this entire                                                                   
labeling to meet the FDA requirements.  However, if a farmer                                                                    
chooses not to sell his/her milk to one of these outlets, he/she                                                                
would be allowed to omit the language, ""No significant difference                                                              
has been shown between milk derived from rBSt treated and non-rBST                                                              
treated cows."".                                                                                                                
MR. FELLMAN commented that is probably a benefit he did not                                                                     
recognize when the "may" was included.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI noted she read the added language and                                                                  
thought that solved the problem; she looked at "may" as a good                                                                  
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG informed the committee there was one witness                                                                  
online who wished to testify.                                                                                                   
Number 2244                                                                                                                     
ART GRISWOLD, Sleepy Hollow Farm, testified via teleconference from                                                             
Delta Junction.  He commented he raises some milk animals, mainly                                                               
goats, and some beef cattle.  Mr. Griswold indicated he has been                                                                
following the legislation's progress; he thought it was a pretty                                                                
good bill to start with. However, Mr. Griswold expressed that he is                                                             
very unhappy with the current version because all the power has                                                                 
been removed from the legislation, the requirements for hormone                                                                 
reporting on beef have been reduced completely, and more (indisc.)                                                              
is just being added to the existing dairy operation in the future                                                               
for the creamery.  He questioned what the legislation is going to                                                               
accomplish really; they have taken all the meat out of the bill and                                                             
destroyed it up to now.  Mr. Griswold noted he would like to see                                                                
the legislation to its original form:  including the term limit for                                                             
dating [of milk], including the coverage of beef animals, and                                                                   
including the milk as far as the hormone additive.  He stated, "And                                                             
that's all I've got to say gentlemen, I think your big money got to                                                             
you someplace."                                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG responded he appreciated Mr. Griswold's testimony                                                             
but not his last comments.  The chairman asked if there were any                                                                
questions for Mr. Griswold.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS noted, as the bill sponsor, that he would                                                                 
just like to say he doesn't think big money got to them; he thinks                                                              
a matter of trying to get this through as legislation which                                                                     
accomplishes something causes one to work with other people.                                                                    
Representative Harris hoped the department would come forward as                                                                
well; he indicated they have been trying to work with the                                                                       
department to allow some form of milk labeling which supports                                                                   
various special interests and other people's concerns regarding                                                                 
knowledge of what is in some of the food they eat.  This is why the                                                             
legislation is in its present form.                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted he appreciated Representative Harris'                                                                   
comments and hopes Mr. Griswold takes them to heart.  The chairman                                                              
stated this a land of reality and that is why it is called                                                                      
politics.  Given the limited resources of this state and what they                                                              
can do, they can't ideally accomplish everything they may want to                                                               
do, and therefore they try to take small steps to reach the desired                                                             
goal.  He invited Ms. Adair forward.                                                                                            
Number 2342                                                                                                                     
JANICE ADAIR, Director, Division of Environmental Health,                                                                       
Department of Environmental Conservation, came forward.  Ms. Adair                                                              
commented the department does not have any objections to the                                                                    
Version K CS; she would like to thank Representative Harris' office                                                             
for working with the department to address its concerns.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG closed the public hearing on HB 110 after                                                                     
confirming there were no further witnesses.                                                                                     
Number 2374                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO made a motion to move CSHB 110 [Version K]                                                                
out of committee with individual recommendations and the attached                                                               
zero fiscal note.  Representative Halcro amended his motion to                                                                  
included the two attached fiscal notes.  There being no objection,                                                              
CSHB 110(L&C) moved out of the House Labor and Commerce Standing                                                                
Number 2393                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG called an at-ease at 4:11 p.m.  The committee                                                                 
came back to order at 4:14 p.m. [MANUAL TAPE CHANGE DURING AT-EASE]                                                             
TAPE 99-48, SIDE B                                                                                                              

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