If you can’t beat ‘em – Steal from ‘em.

Blended milk

In what has to be an astonishingly graphic “surrender flag” the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) have apparently decided to “throw in the cow” and start producing what they call “Blended Milk.”

We know that many of our loyal readers (F.D.A. we are looking in your direction when we say that) are asking yourselves: “What the hell?”

Well worry not. We here at UdderStupidity will assist you – as we have for the last couple of years – in understanding what this is all about.

First, what exactly is “blended milk”? Essentially it is lactose-free milk with some almonds thrown in so you can stake a toe-hold in the plant-based foods industry. Just one problem with that: The largest dairy co-op in the country (DFA) and the miscreants at the National Milk Producers Federation have spent the last three years and untold millions in lobbying fees and salaries trying to convince Congress, then the FDA, and now the states in an attempt to define the word “milk” so as to hobble the plant-based food folks.

But with the new DFA “Live Real Dairy” marketing ploy, they have completely reversed course. Instead of trying to outlaw the phrase “almond milk,” they are now actually putting the phrase they sought to ban RIGHT ON THE FREAKIN’ LABEL of their newest product:

Blended milk edit 1

We feel certain the politicians and FDA officials who were heavily lobbied by the dairy industry are now asking:

“Hypocrite much, fellas?  Isn’t this exactly what you wanted us to ban?”

Reports are also starting to emerge that the actually dairy farmers are less than amused with the DFA’s efforts, with some reports claiming over 80% of the dairy farmers believe the DFA shouldn’t be in the plant-based foods business at all.  They have shoveled enough manure to know the individual farmer will come out on the short end of that teat.

The predicted fight in the dozen or so state capitols this coming year should be fascinating. We’ll see how well the dairy lobbyists do with the local yokels when they are caught talking out of both sides of their mouth.

* Dairy Industry says: “Thank God for China.”

Mao 1 edit 2

Applauding the decision by China to block all purchases of soybeans from the United States, Jim Mulhern of the National Milk Producers said: “It’s about damn time somebody put those soybean people in their place. And who better to do it than the People’s Republic.”  Asked about the current unrest in Hong Kong Mulhern said the protesters better be careful or the Chinese government “would crush them like a handful of almonds.”

Mulhern, obviously frustrated by the U.S. Government’s repeated rejection of his calls to give the dairy industry competitive advantage over soy milk and almond milk by redefining the word “milk,” said that he and the NMPF were gratified at least one government official – albeit it a Chinese Communist official – has finally listened. “I believe we have found a good replacement for that wimp Gottleib at the F.D.A. – and his name is “Xi,” he declared.

“The brave actions by the Chinese government has given us the will to continue and we will take our fight to the states,  trying to use government as a weapon to cripple our enemies in the plant-based foods industry,” said Mulhern. “All hail the proletariat!  And by that I mean the dairy industry.”

Mulhern and the NMPF were already licking their wounds by trying to take their fight out of Washington and into the states, only to recently be rejected once again by the legislatures in Arizona and New Mexico.

“Our next target is Georgia.” When asked if he meant the state or the country, Mulhern replied:

“There’s a difference?”

“You put de lime in de coconut and….Lactate?”

coconut 1

Nuts don’t lactate.

Mulhern doesn’t lactate.

Therefore, Mulhern is a nut.

News of the Weird:

Hoard’s Dairyman reports that the National Milk Producers Federation is using the anniversary of former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s comments that “almonds don’t lactate” to call for the commission to discuss standards of identity related to milk. The NMPF’s Jim Mulhern claimed this showed “continued inaction” related to the dairy standards of identity and said the NMPF will continue to pester the FDA to get it to enforce these standards.

So this is the sort of thing the NMPF pays big bucks to their staff lobbyists and consultants to come up with? Is it just us, or does celebrating recent events with “anniversaries” reminds us of the creepy, clingy blind date in college you take out on one date, only to have him/her call you wanting to celebrate the “one week anniversary” of you first date?

Yeah, weird.

Since you are so into “anniversaries,” Jimbo, why not celebrate the “Two-year Anniversary of Having Your Ass Handed To You” when Congress failed to enact your stupid Dairy Pride Act?

Or how about the one-year anniversary of going down in flames in North Carolina by trying to sneak in your milk-labeling regulations that you failed to accomplish in Congress? You may think moving your “standards-of-identity” efforts to the states is a good strategy. We tend to see it as desperation.

We could go on and on, but you get the point.

Note to Mulhern: Just like almonds, coconuts don’t “lactate” either. Waiting to see you call for “coconut milk” to be banned from the store shelves and excised from old cookbooks.

If you think that is a winning strategy, you’re nuts.

almond lactating

* NMPF delivers up a real Stinker.

something stinks

Who cut the Cheese?

Talk about your law of unintended consequences.

In their headlong rush to redefine the word “milk” to give them an advantage over their competitors, Big Dairy may have run into a lobbying group more powerful than they imagined:

Green Bay Packers fans.

Stay with us here.  We are going to apply the very same logic Jim Mulhern and the NMPF used to justify their baldface attempt to rig the markets by using and abusing Standards-of-Identity labels.  The fact that their argument quickly veers off into the absurd is confirmation their heavy-handed attempts were absurd prima facie to begin with..

For you see, if you try to abuse the definition of common words such as “milk” it is but a short step to other dairy-related words, such as “cheese.”  And if you apply the same proposed NMPF restrictions to the word cheese, then an immediate target comes to mind:

Cheese Heads.

Cheese head

Yep, that unique sartorial contribution to American fashion created by beer-addled Packers fans sitting in the stands would be in jeopardy if one uses the same stupid rules sought by Big Dairy..

According to Mulhern & Co., the word cheese in the term “Cheese Head” would be “misleading and confusing” to footballs fans who might think cheese heads were edible.  Although if you have ever been to a Packers/Viking game there are enough people in the cheap seats freezing their udders off who look perfectly able to chew and swallow a cheese head.

Here’s our contribution to settling this pressing and important matter.  Tell ya whut we’re gonna do:  To  help the process along, we will send Jim Mulhern’s name, home address, license plate number, make of car, cell phone number, email, and other highly personal information to the entire list of Green Bay season ticket holders — all 65,000 of them.  That way, they can contact Jim directly and discuss their opinions with him and the NMPF.

We here at Udder Stupidity are nothing if not helpful.

* Score one for the F.D.A.

cow pie 1         cherry pie 1

CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

We thought you could….And the FDA agrees.

In the early days of UdderStupidity we did a tongue-in-cheek spoof on Big Dairy’s attempts to define “milk” to gain market advantage over their competitors. If the dairy industry could define the word “milk,” we reasoned, then why couldn’t the baking industry define the word “pie” to avoid “consumer confusion” (i.e., “cow pie”)?

We thought we were joking until recently — when we found our sophomoric attempts at sarcastic humor were actually true. It seems there really is a standards-of-identity definition of the word pie – albeit it limited to frozen cherry pies.

Somehow the iron triangle of lobbyists and meddling members of Congress got together and coughed up a swamp-sized hair-ball regulation that sought to “help the consumer” tell the difference between a frozen cherry pie and, say,  a hot steaming cow pie. Turns out consumers didn’t need the help and recently the FDA, complying with the President’s Executive Order 13771 to deregulate stupid regulations, proposed to “remove the standard of identity requirements… for the manufacture of frozen cherry pies.”

Kudos to the FDA.

To drown his disappointment, we understand Jim Mulhern of the NMPF consoled his staff by serving them cow pies – with ice cream, of course.

Wonder what they will eat if the FDA rejects their idiotic attempts to define “milk”? One shudders to think…

 

* Everybody gets a Trophy!

trophy 3

Way back over a year ago (March 18, 2018 to be exact), we here at Udderstupidity “outed” Jim Mulhern and the NMPF for trying to claim victory on the Dairy Pride Act, when in actuality it was nothing more than a rather pathetic attempt to put a favorable spin on their failed attempt to get their definition of the world “milk” written into legislation.   After spending millions of dollars in staff and lobbying expenses, all Mulhern could claim was so-called “report language” in the final bill. Report language is a way of trying to put a public band-aid on the open, bleeding wound of a failed legislative attempt. Back then we called it “Booby Prize.”

(You can see our previous post here: And what do we have for our departing guests, Johnny?)

We are sad (happy?) to report here it is another year and Mulhern & Co. have not learned one damned thing. This time the Dairy folks were able to get some innocuous language into the Draft House Ag Approps Subcommittee Report to accompany the 2020 subcommittee bill:

Dairy Standard of Identity.—The Committee is pleased that the FDA has begun a deliberative process to review how it will enforce the standards of identity for dairy products. The Committee continues to hear concerns with the labeling of certain foods and beverages as dairy products when the products are plant-based rather than derived from an animal. As such, the Committee urges the FDA to continue its work toward ultimately enforcing standards of identity for dairy products.

So what does this flowery language mean to Big Dairy and its attempt to rig the consumer market by preventing other products from using the word “milk” in their marketing, not to mention influencing the FDA?

Short answer: It doesn’t mean Jack crap.

Not content to just putting his 2018 Booby Prize on his “I love me wall,” Mulhern wants to had the political and legislative equivalent of a participation ribbon. And we are sure the fine folks at the FDA stopped everything they were doing when they got this language and declared: “Our work is done here.” Of course, that’s if one assumes they were able to pick themselves up off the floor after collapsing in hysterical laughter.

Trophy 2

Hell, Jimbo, it looks like you’re not even trying anymore. But here is a nice ribbon for at least showing up.

It’ll look great on your wall.

Trophy 1

* Milking education for all it’s worth.

Ben Stein

Muehler? Mulhern?

Anyone? Anyone?

We asked the legendary economics teacher from Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off – also known as Ben Stein – to assist us in today’s lesson. Not only was Mr. Stein unavailable, he specifically asked us to quit calling him and ringing his doorbell at all hours. He also said something about a restraining order. He was joking. We think. So we are on our own.

Okay class, open your books and your minds to see if we can shine light on the scam being run by the National Milk Producers. This will hopefully help others to understand the difference between Smoot – (something). Anyone? Anyone?

Hawley. The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 which exacerbated the Great Depression. It is a classic example how government, if it is not careful, can make a bad situation much worse.

F.D.A., we’re looking in your direction, so please pay attention.

So the subject today is “rent-seeking.” And what is “rent seeking” you ask? Well here is the classic definition:

“Rent seeking is the attempt to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating any new wealth. It is achieved by attempting to capture regulatory agencies to gain a coercive monopoly.”

Now, can anyone give me an example of “rent seeking” today?

student
Jim Muhlern in Economics class

How about you, Mr. Mulhern? Mulhern?

I will give you a hint. One of the most egregious and baldface attempts at rent-seeking we can find today is The Dairy (something) (something). The Dairy Pride Act. You of all people should know this Mr. Mulhern.

You see class, Mr. Mulhern is attempting to run a protection racket worthy of John Gotti. By controlling the use of the word “milk,” the NMPF is trying to recapture lost market share that has been declining since the 60’s. And they are trying to run their scam on the F.D.A. as well as American consumers.

Sweet, eh?

Alas, I can see by the clock that our time is up. Remember, your term papers are due tomorrow.  The topic:

“Minnesota:  Should we give it to Canada?

Those students who make an “A” in this class will receive a case of Almond milk in reward.  You may not like that, Mr.  Mulhern.  But don’t worry — there’s not a chance in hell you’ll get an “A” in this class.