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Friday, February 8, 2013

More Milk Controversy

There was an editorial in The Washington Times this week about Big Milk and what the Times view as its negative impact on consumers. Last month the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry forced the Fresh Markets grocery chain to raise milk prices. They were selling their milk below the government mandated 6 percent above invoice and shipping prices which is illegal.

The Washington Times argues that the price limits hurt consumers, by artificially keeping prices higher and limiting competition. If anyone tries to help consumers by selling milk cheaper, they have big government knocking on their door. The Washington Times then argues that the money behind Big Milk not only keeps prices high, but also is behind the crackdown from the government on raw milk and cheeses.

We have written a plethora of articles on the pros and cons of raw milk here at Backyard Farming. My question is whether or not these two things are related? Do you think the Washington Times has a valid claim that the same big money that is convincing the government to subsidize large milk farms and processors is also behind what some people perceive as a witch hunt that is shutting down raw milk producers? Are government agencies trying to help consumers by protecting them from dangerous milk products, or are decisions made based on who has money, and who wants to keep it? I know what I think about it but I would like to hear your opinions.


1 comment:

Summer Abdelghani said...

Even without reading uncle Dale's article, this article looks ridiculous. First, if grocers want to make milk a loss leader, then they better leave it there. Since they probably won't, better to mandate that they make a VERY modest profit (6% is nothing!).

Second, that rule doesn't even apply to raw milk because raw milk farmers sell direct and don't have to factor shipping costs or anything other than their basic running cost. Yes, I think what the government is doing with raw milk is absolutely ridiculous, and if they really were concerned about the safety of others, then they would just require batch testing and better conditions for animals in general which would be preferable to pasteurization all around.

But the two have nothing to do with each other.