An astroturfing group started by chemical supergiant Monsanto is trying to stop the spread of milk that’s free of bovine synthetic growth hormone. They say they’re trying to defend farmer’s rights but they can’t fool us, we know they really just want to make the future safe for large breasts. [NYT]
Monsanto continues its attempts to hide the basic facts of food production from consumers, this time in Kansas. The Kansas Dairy Association, along with a suspicious “grassroots” dairy group that has the same public relations firm as Monsanto, has helped introduce a bill to the state Senate that would ban “growth hormone-free” milk labels. The bill’s supporters argue that growth hormone can’t be found in lab tests, and if a lab can’t verify it, consumers don’t need to be told about it.
Other countries cut down on the amount of plastic used to package milk by buying it in big plastic bags and storing it in a reusable milk pitcher in the fridge.
Starbucks made the switch to recombinant bovine growth hormone-free milk and are taking organic milk off the menu in all of their stores, effective Feb. 26.
State health authorities tonight urged consumers not to drink milk produced by Whittier Farms in Shrewsbury after an investigation showed it is the likely source of a bacterial illness that killed two elderly men and made two other people sick.
California dairies are bristling under regulations that limit the amount of yucky coliform bacteria allowed in raw milk. The new health standards set a maximum of 10 coliforms per milliliter, which upsets Mark McAfee, the founder of California’s largest raw milk dairy. According to McAfee, “There’s quite a ruckus right now.” Let’s see how he frames the issue.
Consumer Reports says that “without warning or public discussion” 19 dairies in Pennsylvania were notified that their labels were “false or misleading and need to be changed.” What did the labels say?
Consumers in twenty-seven states are suing Aurora Dairy, the nation’s largest organic dairy for selling milk that failed to meet basic organic standards. The suit is bolstered by findings from USDA inspectors, who found that between December 2003 and April 2007, Aurora: “labeled and represented milk as organically produced, when such milk was not produced and handled in accordance with the National Organic Program regulations.”
Wired talks to farmers who own cloned livestock and dairy cows—2nd and 3rd iterations of valuable original “models.” The FDA hasn’t officially approved cloned meat and milk for supermarkets yet, though, and lots of consumers still freak out. (Did you when you read that first sentence?) [Wired]
By the end of this year, Starbucks will no longer serve dairy products that contain Posilac, aka rBGH or rbST, the growth hormone manufactured by Monsanto, says a Reuters article. The company was already well on its way to cutting rBGH out of its menu—as of last month, 72% of their dairy comes from rBGH-free suppliers. According to a letter sent by Starbucks to Food & Water Watch (which has heavily campaigned against the synthetic hormone), “By December 31, 2007, all of our fluid milk, half and half, whipping cream and eggnog used in U.S. company-operated stores will be produced without the use of rBGH.”
If you’re going to pay twice as much for milk because you like the idea that the cows have a yard to play in—that’s your business—but you’d better be getting what you pay for.
The FTC rebuffed chemical giant Monsanto’s request for action against dairies advertising their milk as being hormone-free, the Miami Herald reports.
Good news for the American Dairy Farmer, bad news for you: Milk prices are hitting record highs and there’s no end in sight as increased demand from new markets such as China and India drive prices through the roof.
With milk prices expected to reach $5 a gallon, buying and freezing gallons in bulk doesn’t sound like such a crazy idea. [Frugal For Life]
Regulators from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources zealously enforce a 1941 law that prohibits retailers from selling milk below cost. The law was originally intended to help level the playing the field between small stores and large chains, but now serves to keep the price of milk artificially high. Just last week, state regulators asked the Market Basket supermarket chain why they were selling milk for only $2.59 per gallon. From the Boston Globe:
David McLean, operations manager for the Tewksbury-based chain, said the company would be adjusting its price upward to $2.89 a gallon and may go even higher this week when wholesale prices are scheduled to rise.
How can this be? Ethanol is made from corn and, of course, the demand for ethanol has increased the demand for corn. The demand for corn has out-stripped farmers’ ability to supply more corn and thus has resulted in increased prices for corn…
Now we know the real reason for the “Jamba Juice actually has milk in the non-dairy mix!” balderdash back in early April: bad typesetting.
In response to FTC pressure, milk makers say they will stop advertising that drinking milk leads to weight loss.