"Milk is Milk," Says Center for Global Food Issues

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Dairy marketing awareness campaign promoted at 2004 BevExpo in Tampa.

The Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI) will bring its grass roots campaign, to the 2004 BevExpo in Tampa this week to educate food and dairy retailers (supermarket and grocery chains) about false and misleading label and marketing practices.

The “Milk is Milk” campaign has included advertising in targeted markets, consumer-to-retail outreach efforts, consumer store-checks and the distribution of a milk carton containing facts about the production of milk, reviewed and approved by the American Council on Science and Health’s Director of Nutrition, Dr. Ruth Kava, and produced by CGFI. The carton is part of CGFI’s “concerned consumer” campaign took kit, available at http://www.MilkisMilk.com, which enables consumers to identify and report false and misleading dairy marketing in their local supermarkets.

Key points include:

All milk is produced the same way—by cows. Abundant and high quality milk production results from the daily management of well-fed, healthy dairy cows. Some dairy producers may use a variety of technologies, but the milk remains the same nutritious product providing vitamins, minerals, protein and calcium.

All milk is continuously tested for purity, safety and quality. Milk is tested many times before it reaches the dairy case to ensure that it meets or exceeds government standards and requirements for safety, purity and quality. These tests begin at the farm and continue throughout the processing of milk.

“Milk is milk,” stated CGFI Research Director Alex Avery. “The misleading marketing of certain dairy products as superior in health, nutrition or quality creates undue concerns for consumers and hurts farmers. These practices are contributing to reduced consumer demand for affordable, wholesome and nutritionally important dairy products.”

Milk and dairy products are an essential part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, particularly for children. In addition, family dairy farms are an important part of the American farm economy. Recent studies have linked declining milk consumption to an increase in arm fractures in children and to childhood obesity. Yet, certain misleading marketing practices by some in the dairy industry designed to increase sales of niche products are creating false fears and driving people away from affordable, nutritious dairy products. These marketers publicly admit to specifically targeting women and children.. In the process, state and federal regulations and guidelines specifically established to prevent these practices are being ignored.

“Well-published research shows that health and safety fears are a leading factor in driving consumer food purchase choices,” noted Avery. “This is particularly true for mothers who purchase products they believe to be better for their family’s health and well being. In the case of milk, labels that claim to be “pesticide-free,” “antibiotic-free” or “hormone-free” are misleading and in most cases simply false.”

CGFI has joined several other non-profit consumer, public policy, agriculture, and animal health groups seeking appropriate regulatory enforcement against misleading labels and advertisements with federal, state and local agencies. Coalition Web sites include http://www.stoplabelinglies.com and http://www.igf-1-and-milk.com. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently took action against milk producers who were found to be in violation of FDA truth in labeling guidelines. Links to related research, violations and other materials are available on the CGFI campaign Web site http://www.MilkisMilk.com.

The Center for Global Food Issues (http://www.cgfi.org) is a project of the Hudson Institute, a tax-exempt non-profit public policy organization, providing factual, science-based information on important food and farming issues.

Contact Information:

Alex Avery, Center for Global Food Issues

(540) 255-6378 or

Chris Clark

(636) 578-8013

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