UPDATED: OCTOBER 20, 2011
Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington, D.C. — October 19, 2011) “IDFA applauds Senate Amendment 872, "Stop the Peterson Bill," introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and co-sponsored by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). This bipartisan amendment will prevent implementation of a controversial supply management program for the dairy industry, offered by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), that we have learned will be included in the recommendations of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
“Senator Gillibrand represents a leading dairy state and is very aware of the importance of good dairy policy to both dairy producers and the thousands of employees in dairy manufacturing throughout the state. New York is experiencing tremendous growth in dairy manufacturing and depends on continued growth of the high-quality New York milk supply.
“The amendment will block a requirement that producers participate in a program to limit supply if they enroll in a new revenue insurance program. No other U.S. Department of Agriculture farm support or insurance program is tied to a mandate requiring participation in a government supply-management program.
“IDFA opposes all forms of supply management. Previous government efforts — including peanut allotments, tobacco allotments and grain allotments — have failed. The 1983 dairy diversion program failed and ended up costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Congress tried and failed again in 1985 by authorizing a dairy herd buyout program aimed at limiting milk supply by removing cows from production. We should learn from our past mistakes and not go down that road again.
“Rep. Peterson’s dairy supply management proposal would limit growth, curtail exports, and hinder job creation. The increased costs to the federal government nutrition programs — an estimated $655 million in 2009 alone — are several times larger than any alleged budgetary savings from the plan.
“We applaud Senators Gillibrand and Snowe for their efforts to shine some light on a flawed process that will harm not only New York’s dairy producers and processors but the country’s dairy industry as well.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 530 companies representing a $90-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.