Or does it? That depends on the body in question. To the body of the International Dairy Foods Association, ensuring high product consumption is good. But labeling dairy products for GMOs will only do consumers good. And so…
They’ve Declared War
The IDFA is suing Vermont over their GMO labeling law – an association whose membership body that until just recently, included some of the biggest names in organic milk and dairy foods. Knowledge of this certainly didn’t sit well with customers of Stonyfield Farm, Organic Valley, Aurora Organic, and White Wave (a.k.a. Horizon Organic).
Brands who helped fund state GMO labeling campaigns are suing Vermont? It appears big names in organic milk play both ends against the middle here. Aiding the enemy? The heat from customers rose stiffly, and rather than lose a large chunk of their established market, Stonyfield in New Hampshire withdrew from the IDFA in December 2014, even though Dannon holds 80% ownership. As did California’s Clover Stornetta Farms.
Organic Valley’s stance on their IDFA involvement is that as members they have some influence on activities, and staunchly requested that none of their dues be used to support any GMO lawsuits, or anti-labeling campaigns. Right. As if this small collective of dairy farms holds sway over the interests of mega corps, and CAFO producers who supply well over 80% of the milk sold in the United States.
What’s A CAFO?
It’s short for ‘Confined Animal Feed Operation’, a factory farm where cows never see grass. They pump grain and chopped fodder in, and get milk out of animals that live one-third of their life expectancy. Unless the CAFO is organic, the feed will contain GMOs. There’s a growing body of consumers demanding that any dairy products from cows fed GM alfalfa and grain be labeled as GMO foods.
While plain milk usually has nothing added, traces of GMOs, and their accompanying herbicides, toxins, and insecticides do remain. And so, the powers that be in Dairyland have turned insurgent against state government. But this is only part of the reasoning behind their litigational attack.
There’s a list of ways they add genetically modified substances to cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, and more. Mainstream dairy producers don’t want consumers to realize just how much of it has infiltrated dairy foods. Nor do their suppliers, or the biotech giants who sold the seed. This, you see, would cause a domino effect affecting roughly 90% of US-grown corn, canola, sugar beets, and soy.
How Sweet It Isn’t
Even though milk consumption has steadily declined over the past 20 years, US dairy production has sharply increased. Processed food manufacturers have great uses for milk and cream. They mix it with modified starches, and high-fructose corn syrup to give you affordable yogurt, cream cheese, ice cream, and chocolate milk. Food fortified with extra vitamins and calcium, transgenic genes, Roundup, and Bt toxin. The corn producers need a market for their products too, even though HFCS is way worse for you than regular sugar… but that’s genetically modified too.
So, you see, it makes little difference at all if you’ve switched to Yoplait yogurt to avoid HFCS. Most sugar produced today comes from GM plants. Feeling justified that you only sate your sweet tooth with ice cream brands, like Skinny Cow? Low-fat doesn’t mean a thing if you’re consuming it along with an ingredient proven to cause metabolic problems like obesity, insulin resistance, along with high triglyceride and cholesterol issues. Is there starch in the ingredients list with the HFCS? You think that comes from non-GMO grains?
Don’t Say Cheese
Seen the words, ‘cheese product’ or ‘cheese food’ in the dairy aisle lately? Brace yourself. Up to one-fifth of cheese produced cannot be legally labeled cheese, because it has non-dairy ingredients. Real cheese is slow food made from milk, cheese culture, salt, and enzymes (once known as rennet before the age of synthetic everything). Annatto is what gives it color. Everything after that on the ingredient list is an additive to stretch out the cheese flavor, make it cheaper than cheese, and increases your GMO and chemical intake.
Chances are most of those other ingredients are vegetable oil concoctions made from GM corn, canola, soy, or cottonseed. Furthermore, a lot of cheese in the food system includes trans fats from partial hydrogenation. What? You only buy food labeled ‘contains no trans fat’! All that means is it has less than 0.5 grams – it can still be labeled as not having trans fats.
But you’re still eating it in larger quantities and just don’t know, because fast food, restaurants, and cafeterias don’t have to label their menus for trans fats. When you order a cheeseburger, head down to Pizza Hut, or have Dominos deliver – the cheese is up to 49% trans fat, and GMO-laden ingredients.
American cheese is probably the worst imitator. The better quality brands label this a ‘processed cheese food’, which means it has at least 51% legal cheese in it. Those bargain brands might be labeled a ‘processed cheese product’ – the stuff that won’t melt. It seems that hydrogenated GM oils are firmly synthetic, so it just sits there looking square, despite the powers of your broiler.
So, did you get all excited about Kraft Organic Mac N Cheese? It’s one product among many. By the way, the new and improved, Cheez Whiz? Kraft replaced all cheese content with chemical flavorings to mask the true taste of a formula akin to axle grease. Kraft’s man at the IDFA? Executive committee member, Howard Friedman oversees their interests.
What Is Dairy?
To most people its food that comes from the milk of mammals… cows, goats, sheep, and bison. But bypassing authentic natural dairy ingredients for imitation representations of them is the modern food processing standard. In the increasingly synthetic world we’ve had forced on us, the word ‘dairy’ has been altered to fit the interests of Big Food.
Cheap ingredients, like modified GM byproducts, such as HFCS and trans fats feed food producers big profits. They also made it impossible to understand WHAT a dairy product really is. So labeling regulations exist now, such as a product labeled ‘ice cream’ must contain at least 10% milk fat. A container labeled ‘frozen dairy dessert’ is an imposter.
This low-fat treat seems benevolent, but low-fat and no-fat milk are actually waste products – once fit only for pig slop. Creating a market for it decades ago made the dairy industry more profitable and efficient.
Of course, with more people buying skim milk, the issue of how to use up all this extra butter fat and whole milk presented itself. The solution they decided was more cheese, which turned into a new dilemma… a mountain of cheese, and butter that wasn’t moving.
So in 1983 the US government bought $4 billion dollars worth of dairy surplus and stockpiled it, and continued packing away this excess production until 1995 when the USDA created Dairy Management, Inc. to beef up dairy consumption. Remember the old Domino’s and Pizza Hut extra cheese television commercials? They were all part of getting us to consume more cheese – to sell the excess the skim milk market created. But that was when cheese was real.
Leprino Foods Company is the cheese supplier to both pizza chains – one of the world’s largest cheese and dairy food ingredients manufacturers. It just so happens that the IDFA secretary is none other than the VP of Corporate Affairs at Leprino, and while Mike Reidy may have launched a dairy herd management program for quality cheese products in January 2015, the patented Pizza Cheese product on Pizza Hut pizzas is not legally mozzarella. It contains up to 10% modified food starch from corn, wheat, potatoes, etc – and tons of extra salt.
So, even though there is an overload of milk, cheese, and butter fat hanging around – they continue stretching it with fillers. Fillers that can represent up to half of what’s in the package being added chemical or GMO ingredients.
You can kiss the cute cows munching grass on a quaint farm goodbye, right along with the misconception that manufacturers care about you having healthy foods to eat. Consumers are like crude oil, just a refinable vein tapped to keep their little factory world humming along profitably, showing quarterly growth.
Wholesome milk, butter, cheeses, ice cream, and yogurt hasn’t been available in most stores for years. It’s not coming back. The food system will lie, cheat, and steal to remain in control. They’re prepared to fight like rabid dogs to maintain what they’ve built. Labeling laws they didn’t create are their enemy.
You want to know what’s in your food? Make it yourself. Then it’s your food – not theirs. Grow your own. Obtain what you can’t from like-minded people nearby. Establish a consumption relationship with your local organic dairy farm. The smaller, the better, because they care – not just about their cows, and their product quality, but the effect their work has on their community. The IDFA isn’t supporting them, nor are the grocers. You want real food – buy it farm direct.