Comment period on Mont. food regs ends Feb. 17 | TSLN.com

Comment period on Mont. food regs ends Feb. 17

After holding three well attended public meetings to discuss streamlining the state's food regulations, the Montana Department of Agriculture with the Departments of Health and Human Services and Livestock announced that the public comment period will be extended to Feb. 17. The previous deadline was February 7.

"We've had a lot of great input from across the state on what we can do to assist local businesses and individuals make our state food laws work effectively," said Cort Jensen, Chief Attorney for the Montana Department of Agriculture. "After such high interest, we are extending the public comment deadline to Feb. 17."

Directed by the 2013 State Legislature, three Montana state agencies and interested citizen stakeholders have been going through a public process to review the state's food laws and rules for inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and solicit public input for improvement. House Bill 630, adopted in 2013, also calls for an assessment of possible provisions for a cottage food law in Montana, which would allow the sale of low-risk foods made in household kitchens in limited markets. http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2013/billpdf/HB0630.pdf

Montana Departments of Agriculture, Public Health and Human Services, and Livestock have already held public meetings in Missoula, Bozeman and Billings. The written comment period has been extended to Feb. 17, and may be submitted via email to cojensen@mt.gov.

The results of this project will be included in a report to the Montana Legislature's Interim Economic Affairs Committee along with recommendations for changes to improve the state's food regulatory environment.

For more information or to provide written comments, please contact Cort Jensen, Montana Department of Agriculture, at 406-444-5402 or via email: cojensen@mt.gov.

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The Montana Department of Agriculture's mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit http://www.agr.mt.gov. F

–Montana Department of Ag