Lawmakers to DEC: Exempt Alaska's small cheese makers

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010

JUNEAU - Lawmakers agree with Alaska's small dairy farmers and hobbyists who say new cheese regulations written by a state agency are too stringent.

The Legislature's regulation review committee is asking the Department of Environmental Conservation to negotiate with stakeholders to rewrite the rules with exemptions for small operations. Chairman and Rep. Wes Keller, a Republican from Wasilla, said direct sales of raw milk products between the farmer and consumer should be exempt.

Kristin Ryan, head of the department's division covering sanitary food, has argued that the new rules are accessible to small operators and not following them compromises food safety.

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