H.C.R. NO.














urging the united states department of health and human services and state department of health to ascertain the safety of repasteurized unrefrigerated milk shipped to hawaii from the mainland.




WHEREAS, while there were once over 40 dairy farms in Hawaii, most of them have shut down over the past 25 years, with only Clover Leaf Dairy and Island Dairy on the Big Island still in production, and with Meadow Gold as the only remaining major milk processor; and


WHEREAS, there are many challenges to running a dairy farm in Hawaii: the negative effect of tropical heat on milk production, herd health problems, and conception concerns; the difficulty of obtaining affordable feed due to the high cost of land to produce feed crops, and high costs of transporting imported feed from the mainland; and high cost of animal waste removal; and


WHEREAS, there is a daily milk shortage of more than 40,000 gallons on Oahu, resulting in 70 to 80 percent of the milk sold in Hawaii to be shipped in from the mainland primarily from California; and


WHEREAS, as the milk makes its way over to Hawaii, taking over a week to ship, and close to a month from milking to placement on the shelves according to the State Department of Agriculture (DOA), it is stored in huge tanks that are unrefrigerated as long as the temperature at the plant is below 45 degrees, then is repasteurized upon arrival in Hawaii, before it is bottled and placed on the store shelves; and


WHEREAS, a DOA study found that milk sold on Oahu exceeded federal regulatory limits for bacterial counts five days prior to expiration; and

WHEREAS, consumers frequently find that imported milk spoils before the stamped expiration date; and


WHEREAS, the Milk Control Act, when enacted in 1967, when the dairy industry in Hawaii was flourishing, was established to protect the local dairy industry from the fluctuations of the market and ensure the availability of milk, and not intended to ensure the safety of shipped milk; and


WHEREAS, the Milk Control Act does not contain any standards for the safety of milk shipped from the mainland; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2010, the Senate concurring, that the United States Department of Health and Human Services and State Department of Health, with the cooperation of the Department of Agriculture, determine whether milk shipped to Hawaii from the mainland in unrefrigerated bulk containers taking more than ten days, and repasteurized upon its arrival, prior to bottling, is safe for human consumption; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Director of the State Department of Health, and the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture.









Report Title:

Imported Milk; Safety