August 24th, 2019

“God Provides, but We Decide!”

Dear Editor:

Do consumers want REAL, natural milk, cheese, and dairy products? Or do they want industrial, processed, and manufactured so-called “milk,” “cheese,” “yogurt,” and so forth? Cheeses with patents, some even cheese-less “cheeses” and other food products made with milk protein concentrate (MPC), ultrafiltered (UF) milk, and other highly processed milk-derived “ingredients” are being increasingly marketed and passed off as the “real” thing, when, in fact, they are causing us all harm-dairy farmers and consumers alike.

The issue of MPC and UF milk needs to be investigated by appropriate federal authorities and corrected IMMEDIATELY. The rampant use of industrially processed milk protein powders and other additives that extend the cheese yields creates a milk “surplus” for which the dairy farmer is blamed, under charges of “overproduction,” when, in fact, it is the dairy processing “Industry,” including the dairy co-operatives, formed under the unsupervised federal Capper-Volstead law, that are causing these problems. It is these same “special interests” that are benefiting financially at the expense of dairy farmers and consumers alike, with the farmers actually going out of business because of the low farm milk prices that result when these industrialized “ingredients” replace traditional, REAL milk in the manufacturing of dairy products.

Imagine a cartoon drawing of a little guy stirring a cheese vat, making REAL, NATURAL, HEALTHY cheese from REAL milk. Along comes a giant, who grabs Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) powder, a “mish-mash” of whatever from wherever and throws it in the vat!

So, the little cheesemaker doesn’t get about 10 pounds of GREAT cheese. Instead, the giant hauls away about 14 to 18 pounds of “Moo Glue” cheese to sell to uninformed consumers. Adding MPC, pea starch, cellulose, sodium gluconate, etc., plus altering the process, retaining more moisture, increase “cheese” yields.

The pile of MPC keeps getting bigger! The US is the leading cheese producer in the world, with 12.076 billion pounds in 2016. In 2015, Wisconsin produced 3.07 billion pounds of cheese! If Wisconsin were a country, it would rank 4th in the world! Wisconsin produces 25.4% of US cheese!

At least one third of milk in the US is used to produce cheese! Huge cheese production, using MPC, creates a huge surplus of fluid milk that is not needed because of that 4 to 8 pounds of extra cheese yielded due to MPC use, etc.

Decades ago, MPC was imported for glue, adhesives, and industrial uses. But, Kraft, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and others decided to use it illegally in cheese and thousands of our foods and beverages.

Because of DFA, Fonterra, and others, we now have a giant MPC industry that I believe is #1 in the world, and the MPC produced possibly displaces 30% to 40%, maybe even more, of US raw farm milk, which effectively creates a HUGE raw farm milk “surplus,” giving the perception of dairy farmer “overproduction,” because of the cheese yield increase! Both dairy farmers and consumers suffer.

More MPC use, plus other powdered dairy ingredients, such as “Milk Protein Isolate” (MPI), Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), etc., used in thousands of our foods and beverages, create an unknown additional displacement of raw farm milk.

Most consumers don’t know this is a huge concern because, after all, Milk Protein Concentrate sounds OK!

When consumers learn how raw milk is filtered, ultrafiltered, diafiltrated, heated, fractionated, after removing this or adding that, in order to manufacture MPC and powdered ingredients, they want no part of all these, so-called, “new” and “innovative” dairy ingredients.

Dairy farmers’ forced advertising money was used to help research, develop, promote, and advertise MPC, adulterated cheese, etc. instead of being used to promote fluid milk use!

According to the USDA National Report (Friday, 9/1/17), the “Percentage of Total Conventional Ads by Commodity” shows cheese at 26%; cream cheese at 8%; cottage cheese at 6%, for a total of 40% versus 1% for Milk! Advertising money is misused!

Why? Again! Money! Cheese equals more profits for the “Dairy & Food Industries” but rock bottom, bankrupting, raw, farm milk prices for farmers. Ironically, dairy farmers are blamed for the surplus created because of the MPC increasing cheese yields!

The latest Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “Guidance for Industry” regarding “Ultrafiltered Milk in the Production of Standardized Cheeses and Related Cheese Products” needs comments from consumers, including dairy farmers. For more information, call FDA at 240-402-2373.

Proper, adequate labeling, I believe, is a real problem and should be re-addressed by pressuring FDA in regards to all the ultrafiltered fluid milk and all the dry concentrated powders, such as MPC, MPI, WPC, WPI, etc.

Putting “Derived from a milk source” on labels, to satisfy allergen labeling requirements, is totally inadequate! This is deceptive and does not give the consumer the truth about what is in the product. NO infant food or formula should contain any of these industrialized protein ingredients.

Consumers, please help! Losing dairy farmers also puts your current and future food supply in jeopardy. With only about 40,000 licensed dairies left in the whole US, we are in crisis mode! Every country should have “Food Sovereignty.” The right and ability to have a safe, secure, and adequate food supply are vital! After all, “Any Nation That Cannot Feed Itself Is Not Free!” And that is where we are headed!

“God provides, but we decide!”

Donna Hall

Retired Lycoming County Dairy Farmer

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