Dairy Farmer Newspaper Column Encourages Support for DAIRY PRIDE Act

In mid-March, Maine dairy producer Travis Fogler, a member of Dairy Farmers of America, published an opinion piece in the state’s largest newspaper in which Fogler encouraged support for the DAIRY PRIDE Act (DPA), legislation that would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce the long-standing regulation that “milk” must come from an animal source. Shortly after its publication, Maine Sen. Angus King (ME-I) came out in support of the legislation.

In the piece, printed in the Portland Press Herald, Fogler said that “dairy farmers work extremely hard to follow our industry’s extensive regulations – including the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling laws specifying what milk is. Government regulations say imitators shouldn’t be able to copy the names of cheese and yogurt,” he noted, adding that “for more than a decade, we’ve seen an explosion of products that mimic certain attributes of milk, including co-opting that very name. Unfortunately, the FDA has turned a blind eye to this growing practice.”

Fogler’s article joins another recent op-ed column from NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern in calling for congressional backing of the DPA, which was introduced by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the Senate, and by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT), Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Sean Duffy (R-WI) in the House.

To help generate support from its dairy producer-members, NMPF has been providing cooperatives with legislative action alerts, news articles, infographics and other materials. NMPF strongly encourages cooperatives to share these materials with staff, producer-members and on social media to whip up industry and congressional support for the two bills.

NMPF has also been promoting a series of colorful graphics on Facebook and Twitter that call out the nutritional disparity between real dairy and its copycats. As Fogler noted in his column, “All the camouflage in the world won’t produce the natural goodness of real milk.”