Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 06 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Dairy Sector.

Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the steps she is taking to provide for independent milk testing; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3564/07]

  Mary Coughlan: My Department already conducts regular checks on the results of butter fat testing carried out by milk processors. It also checks the calibration of the instruments used in milk processing establishments for measuring the fat and protein levels in milk collected from producers. My Department also monitors the instruments [1678] used in measuring somatic cell levels in milk delivered to processors.

The Department also conducts random administrative checks to ensure that the results of butter fat and protein tests are correctly transcribed into the calculation of the milk price paid to the producer. As part of the partnership agreement Towards 2016 my Department will extend its monitoring and cross checking of the milk testing regime to include all constituents used for payment purposes and, in consultation with the partners, shall ensure transparency in the milk analysis regime.