Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

November 15, 2010

The N.Y. Times Article Regarding Dairy Promotion-Misleading?

Recently the New York Times reported in an article that Dairy Management Incorporated {DMI} is funded by the government to promote dairy products, {more specifically cheese}. While DMI receives some funding from the government to help fund positive programs such as the food assistance program,  it receives payment from us, the dairy farmers and ONLY from us, to promote our dairy products.  Tax payers can feel rest assured, government funds, in no way, goes to the promotion of U.S. dairy products.  The dairy checkoff program was created by farmers, for farmers, and is funded by America’s dairy farm families.
DMI helps the dairy industry stay in tune with consumer preferences and the latest dietary guidance by sharing nutrition science and product and consumer research, which the industry uses to develop healthier choices in dairy foods, such as reduced fat and sodium cheese and reduced sugar flavored milk.

More than 50 percent of DMI’s annual budget is allocated to advance dairy health and wellness efforts, that are consistent with the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Those programs include: nutrition and product research (including research regarding the development of reduced-fat and reduced-sodium cheeses); the in-school Fuel Up to Play 60 program that aims to help children’s health by bringing healthy eating and physical activity to more than 64,000 schools; efforts to help build a more sustainable U.S. dairy industry; and programs to meet consumer needs, such as those with real or perceived lactose intolerance.

For other dairy farmer articles regarding this subject, you can check out these posts I have listed below:
How My Little Blog Out-Reported the New York Times by Year of Plenty
Holy Cow! More Media Misinformation.  FACT:  Dairy Farmers Pay to Promote Milk! by Dairy Goddess
Got Facts? The N.Y. Times article about Dairy got it Wrong by The Dairy Mom
DMI is Farmer Funded NOT Government Funded! by Orange Patch Dairy
Does a major news outlet have more half truths than Pinocchio by RayLinDairy

And here's a very informative letter to the editor in the Washington Post titled "Dairy Farmers Aren't Milking the Government" by DMI's Tom Gallagher - OR just read it below......

Dairy farmers aren't milking the government

Thursday, November 18, 2010; 5:57 PM

America's dairy farmers were surprised at the media coverage, including a Post editorial ["Got fat?," Nov. 13], that followed a misleading story suggesting that the federal government was paying to promote increased cheese consumption in the United States.

The reason for the surprise is that the story isn't true. Dairy farmers pay the entire cost of promoting their products to American consumers. Congress set up this national program at the request of dairy farmers who each pay a small fee for product research and promotion.

The Post objects that the program wastes "government authority" by being administered by the Agriculture Department. But even here, dairy farmers actually pay USDA for all its costs of administering the program. It costs taxpayers nothing, which is as it should be.

Most concerning about all of this is the distortion of dairy farmers' self-funded efforts to encourage consumption of one of the most nutritionally powerful foods in the human diet. Milk is a complex food naturally containing all three energy nutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) as well as nine key vitamins and minerals essential to health. It provides three of the federal government's five "nutrients of concern" that are under-consumed in the U.S. diet.

We use the federal government's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" as the cornerstone of our nutrition advice. While the guidelines urge adults to consume three servings a day of low-fat and fat-free dairy, actual dairy consumption is well below that level.

America's obesity problem will not be solved by demonizing certain foods. The solution lies in cutting total calories, eating in moderation with a focus on nutrient-rich foods and becoming more physically active. On behalf of America's dairy farmers, we are committed to being part of the solution.

Tom Gallagher, Rosemont, Ill.
The writer is chief executive of Dairy Management Inc.

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