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Friday, April 10, 2009

Kansas House Bill 2121 (it will affect the entire Country)

The email I received from The Center for Food Safety:

Last week, despite strong citizen and farmer opposition, the Kansas state legislature passed a bill that would limit a farmer’s right to tell their customers about the way they produce milk. Kansas House Bill 2121 included language specifying that, "dairy products promoted as being produced by cows that don't receive injections of artificial bovine growth hormone, also known as rbST or rBGH, would have to include a disclaimer on the label."


The required disclaimer would read: "the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined there are no significant differences between milk from cows that receive injections of the artificial hormone and milk from those that do not." That statement is based on an 18-year-old FDA review; however, FDA’s own publications, as well as subsequent scientific studies have shown that there are significant differences, some of which may affect human health. The Kansas bill also goes against long-established Federal policy as outlined by the FDA in a July 27, 1994 letter to New York Department of Agriculture and Markets: "The bottom line is that a contextual statement is not required...and in no instance is the specific statement 'No significant difference has been shown...' required by FDA."


In addition, the Legislature tacked on the dairy labeling rules of HB 2295 as a rider on HB 2121 without a hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee. This denied the numerous opponents of labeling restrictions the chance to testify. Even with the lack of proper debate, the bill barely passed the Senate by a 22-15 vote, just two votes short of failing, demonstrating that there is barely a mandate for labeling changes in Kansas.

Due to growing consumer demand, companies are removing rbGH from their dairy products across the country. In addition, over 160 hospitals all over the country have pledged to serve rbGH-free products and the past president of the American Medical Association said in a letter to all AMA members that hospitals should serve only milk produced without rbGH. And, more than half of the 100 largest dairy processors in the country have gone partially or completely rbGH-free to satisfy consumer demand.


Tell Governor Sebelius, our future Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which houses the Food and Drug Administration, to head into her new position on the right foot by vetoing this unnecessary and unwanted bill!


~~~~~~~~~

How silly. An outdated report is to be used for the disclaimer. My issue with this is that dairies are going out of business rapidly, due to high feed costs, and low milk prices. We slap yet another bill onto these dairies what do you think happens? More dairies go out of business. Small farmers, farm to consumer dairies can actually make it easier than the larger commercial dairies. Larger dairies usually belong to a co-op. You might pay $3.00 a gallon but your farmer may only make $1.12 per gallon. (of course this varies by co-op) And it takes $1.40 to produce a gallon. But many farmers don't go by the gallon, they go by a hundred-weight. They need $18 per hundred-weight to make even, but they on average are only making $10.50 per hundred-weight.


A local man (local as in Kansas) south of me is loosing $1,500 a day. He will be going out of business if this keeps up. Now let's tack on unnecessary bills, like NAIS and this food label. Private dairies will fold even faster than they are now.


If you can, buy local milk, farm to consumer.


And if you want to send a letter to Your future HHS Director (which is part of he FDA) a letter, you can do so from here.

9 comments:

Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife said...

Yeah, we fought this battle last year in PA. Fortunately, there was enough of an outcry that the bill never passed. Pissed me off to no end. Luckily, I guess it pissed off enough other people that we stopped it.

It was clear to us, even at that time, that this was an ongoing project of big dairy. We don't delude ourselves into thinking that having won the battle is having won the war. We knew they would go on to see which other states they could get this outrageous law passed in. They'll keep at it, and at it, and at it. They have deep pockets. I know they'll be back with a barely tweaked version of that bill in our state sooner or later. And fwiw, the excerpt you quoted looks to me like it matched the one introduced in PA *verbatim*.

Good luck on the veto effort.

LILHOUSEMAMA said...

I live by numerous small dariys, I diddn't know you could buy the milk from them directly...THAT WOULD BE GREAT! Makes me want to run down the street and ask them! :) (always good to know where your food/drink comes from!)

HANG IN THERE DAIRY FARMERS!

The Fool said...

Keep up the good fight, Phelan. I'll stand by you. I'll get a letter off to Sebelius today.

As an aside...I'm having a couple of contests for some jars of Mt. ReDoubt ash (just doing my part to help clean up the mess). Details at my site. ;)

Phelan said...

Kate, I had no idea they tried to pass this else where. The biggest problem is our Governor will be the HHS director, this could go federal.

Lilhousemama, Some dairies will have signs outside that they sell directly to the public. You can always ask them. If they don't belong to a co-op they should be able to sell to you (laws in states vary)

The Fool, I posted about your little contest :D

alrescate said...

I still buy my milk from the grocery store but I go to a store that now sells a milk from a local diary. They even use glass jars so I feel a bit better about it....

Wendy said...

I don't know if a similar bill was passed in Vermont, but I believe Ben & Jerry's ice cream carries that disclaimer. I know I've seen it somewhere, but I don't think the bill has passed here in Maine.

For my part, though, all of our dairy products (meat and most of our produce) are from small, local farms, including our milk, which we pick up straight from the farmer. My girls enjoy going to the farm and seeing the cows, who aren't fed artficial growth hormones ... we asked ;).

Monica said...

Monsanto doesn't own rBST anymore, but they have been working state to state for a decade to get these labeling restrictions passed. They try everything: lawsuits, direct bans enacted by the state ag. secretary, and the legislatures. It's insane. I've never seen a company so hostile to individual rights, free speech, and self-determination.

Those of you wanting to support local farmers might look into getting raw milk. I don't know what the regs. are in Kansas but here in CO we can get it and it's AMAZING. It is highly regulated in most states, only available through cowshare programs. This is due to pasteurization mandates dating back to early 1900s as well as milk marketing orders dating back to the FDR era that force farmers to pool their milk and be part of a government-run price fixing cartel.

If you can get it and if the germ issue bothers you just boil it. We've been drinking it for a year (not boiled) and so far no problems. It comes from Jersey cows and is ever so much better than grocery store milk because of its higher butterfat content. Check it out at

realmilk.com

And all the proceeds go to the farmer, not a bunch of middlemen. our farmers get $10 per gallon for this milk. That includes a delivery fee.

Annette said...

Local, real milk is all we drink now. I have so sent in my request. Thank you for the link!

Heidi said...

I Like the way you think man!!! Thanks for passing this along...

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