This story from Japan Times talks about the rapid growth of the Chinese dairy industry.
US dairy farmers, and particularly Washington State dairy farmers, are highly regulated – despite the lies of What's Upstream's sponsors. Lined manure lagoons hold manure until it can be safely applied, when weather conditions don't result in runoff. Our state's dairy regulations call for zero discharge – no discharge to water is allowed and while compliance is very high, a very occasional accidental release results in enforcement action.
Still, we have those like Oregon-based attorneys affiliated with the Western Environmental Law Center, who are doing all they can to put our dairy farmers out of business. They have said in court and shown through actions that they think dairy farming is such a threat to public health that it should be regulated out of existence.
Perhaps they don't care for dairy products. But most Americans do and if these attorneys and other anti-farm activists like those behind What's Upstream get their way, we will have to import our dairy products, along with any other kind of food they think harmful. We could get it from Saudi Arabia, where this video explores the operation of a 130,000 cow dairy farm and processing operation. We could get it from China, you know, that country struggling with environmental issues that is nearly shutting down its capital. They won't bother with lagoons, dairy nutrient management, nor will they bother with the incredible food safety procedures that protect Americans.
Our elected officials tend to take these anti-farm activists seriously because they wave the environmental banner. Farmers have far more of a right to wave that banner, but if citizens, consumers, non-farmers, urban residents don't start letting our government leaders know that we want to keep our family dairy farms here and keep them producing the safe, healthy and environmentally beneficial products, then we can start looking for Chinese labeling on our yogurt containers.
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