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Statement of Jerry Slominski, IDFA Senior Vice President of Legislative and Economic Affairs, on Senate Agriculture Committee Vote

May 14, 2013

Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(202) 220-3508

(Washington, D.C. – May 14, 2013) “IDFA is disappointed that the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry continues to recommend a milk supply management program that will raise dairy prices on consumers and will hurt the dairy industry and dairy export growth. The Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP) is a controversial and divisive approach to dairy policy, one that has threatened and will continue to threaten the completion of a five-year Farm Bill.

“A nationwide survey found that 81 percent of Americans agree that individual farmers should have the freedom to decide how much milk they produce and not have a limit set by government policy. This view is reinforced by a broad coalition of nearly 150 national and regional food manufacturers, restaurant groups, conservative and anti-tax groups, consumer protection and watchdog groups, and many, many dairy producer groups all opposed to imposing the DMSP and supply management on the dairy industry.

“These new regulations to control milk supply will be in addition to our already complicated federal milk marketing system that regulates milk prices. IDFA is also disappointed that the committee adopted an amendment offered by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that only further complicates the federal milk pricing system.

“We look forward to the markup in the House Committee on Agriculture where a bipartisan, compromise proposal is being offered as an amendment by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and David Scott (D-GA). Their amendment provides an effective safety net for dairy farmers but does not include a new program to limit milk supplies and intervene in milk prices. We expect that the House will ultimately take a strong position against government control of our milk supply, putting the Senate in the position of defending a policy that restricts job growth, hurts middle income families and adds additional costs to nutrition programs that are already being cut by the Farm Bill.”

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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 550 companies representing a $125-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.


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