I recently blogged about ‘big organic’ dairy companies and how they were affecting the quality of organic dairy.
Since then, another dairy emergency has come to light from the folks at Food Democracy Now…the plight of the poorly paid American dairy farmer…and the consumer by-product: imported milk that is less safe.
Food Democracy’s recent email reported…
Since December 2008, the price that farmers are paid for the milk they produce has dropped over 50 percent - the largest single drop since the Great Depression -to a point far below the cost of production. This unprecedented collapse in prices has occurred in large part due to market manipulations and increased foreign imports by milk industry giants.
The report goes on to cite several disturbing stats:
- Dairy farmers are at the mercy of giants like the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), which controls 40% of US milk production. Last year DFA was fined $12 million for price fixing by the US government and has also been implicated in the recent massive increase in imported milk products.
- Up to 30% of remaining dairy farmers may be lost by the end of this year – 20,000 dairy farmers in total
- Rural America will be negatively impacted, erasing over $52.7 billion of economic development in less than one year.
- Safety is an issue: losing domestic supply will create a serious gap in U.S. food safety as the DFA (Dairy Farmers Association) and others dramatically increase foreign milk protein concentrate imports from countries such as Mexico, India and China -- countries which have much lower food safety standards than we do.
Take Action Today!
Send an electronic fax to Secretary Vilsack, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (it’s all ready for you to sign and send thanks to the socially and environmentally aware cell phone company, Credo) to let him know that you support America's family dairy farmers.