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Dairy Industry Has Mixed Views on Dairy COOL Act


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Dairy Industry Has Mixed Views on Dairy COOL Act

A dairy labeling regulation intending to help U.S. farmers may actually have the opposite effect and result in less American dairy products on grocer's shelves.

According to the website Dairy Reporter, the Dairy COOL Act of 2011, which calls for country-of-origin labeling on all dairy products, could encourage manufacturers to "substitute vegetable-based or other protein ingredients instead of dairy ingredients" in an effort to avoid identifying where products have come from.

"The phrase 'any other dairy product' is problematic and open to interpretation," said an International Dairy Foods Association spokeswoman, the source noted. "For instance, in the recently released rule to implement the dairy import assessment, USDA included cocoas and bakers' dough under the category of 'dairy products.'"

However, supporters of the bill say that it would benefit the U.S., which has suffered losses in the past 10 years trying to compete with foreign products. According to the president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, Doug Peterson, other countries' products do not have the same economic or environmental standards as the U.S., The Twin Cities Daily Planet reported.