Deep-pocketed national organizations representing big dairy have thrown their political clout behind efforts to kill a bill that would legalize limited raw milk sales in Montana
Last week, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association sent a 26-page document to members of the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee urging them to kill House Bill 325 (HB325).
“Due to the significant public health risks associated with the consumption of raw milk, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) respectfully urge that you oppose HB 325, legislation designed to allow the sale of unpasteurized milk in Montana. HB 325 would remove existing regulations prohibiting the direct sale of raw milk, consumption of which has been opposed by every major health organization in the United States, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
The Arlington, Va. based National Milk Producers Federation “develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own.” According to its website, the members of NMPF’s cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making the organization “the voice of dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.” The D.C. based International Dairy Foods Association represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries, and their suppliers – the corporate side of the dairy industry.
In other words, these two organizations exist to use government power to advance the economic interests of their members – not protect the health and welfare of Montanans.
The goal of the NMPF and IDFA is to criminalize their competition.
According to conventional wisdom, government regulations serve to protect the hapless consumer. In fact, corporate interests often use these regulations to crush competition. Big dairy does not want consumers to have access to a raw milk that competes with the pasteurized milk it sells. To stop it, the industry has set out to legislate small dairy farmers who simply want to provide raw milk many consumers want out of existence.