HARRISBURG, Pa. — In a reversal of an earlier decision, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that it will allow the state’s milk producers to label their milk “produced without the use of artificial hormones.” The state had published regulations in October that would have prohibited dairies from using labels that indicated the use or non-use of artificial growth hormones. Those regulations were set to go into effect on Feb. 1, but protests and petitions from local and national consumer groups, dairies, farmers and environmental organizations may have played some role in the state’s reversal of the rules. "This is a victory for free speech, free markets, sustainable farming and the consumer's right to know," stated Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Consumers Union, a Yonkers, N.Y.-based consumer advocacy group and publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine. "Consumers increasingly want to know more about how their food is produced, and particularly whether it is produced in natural and sustainable manner. There is no justification for prohibiting information about rbGH use on a milk label. Pennsylvania deserves credit for realizing that its initial regulation prohibiting such labeling was flawed, and for reversing its position."
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