Judge rejects lawsuit against milk freshness rule

LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY

POSTED: 10:19 AM Aug 10 2013   UPDATED: 9:19 AM Aug 11 2013
HELENA, Mont. -

A judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by a California distributor challenging the rule requiring milk sold in Montana to be stamped with a "sell-by" date of 12 days after pasteurization.
    
District Judge Mike Menahan ruled Friday that Core-Mark International had failed to show the sell-by date was unreasonable or created harm to consumers and competition.
    
Lee Newspaper of Montana reported the decision leaves Montana's long-standing rule intact. It also upholds a 2012 decision by the state Board of Livestock rejecting the company's request to abolish the rule and let milk producers put their own expiration stamps on products.
    
Attorneys for Core-Mark did not immediately return messages left Friday.
    
The ruling marks the latest development in the dispute over the sell-by date, which has been in effect since 1980.