USDA and European Union officials are meeting today in Brussels to discuss the EU certification requirement of 400,000 somatic cell count limit from individual farms. Results of the meeting probably won’t be made public until early next week, sources say.
The EU had set a deadline early this past spring requiring that dairy exports from the U.S. come from farms with SCCs below 400,000, based on a rolling, three-month geometric mean. That deadline was then pushed back to October 1, which was then pushed back to December 1 pending the meeting today.
And even the December 1 date is “soft,” depending on when EU officials officially sign off on export certification requirements. National Milk Producers Federation officials are hoping to scuttle the entire effort, saying the 400,000 limit is arbitrary and not based on science. EU health officials (and most U.S. mastitis researches) beg to differ, of course. But NMPF says all U.S. dairy products are made from pasteurized milk anyway.