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Issue Home January 7, 2003 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

They Worked Hard!

I just wanted to take this method of thanking all the boro employees and everyone who worked so hard on Christmas Day during the big snowstorm. I appreciate them taking time away from their families and loved ones during such a precious time as Christmas.


LaVerne Kuhn

Susquehanna, PA

Consumers – Be Alert!

After two years of intensive revelation regarding the improper use of imported milk protein concentrate (MPC) by many cheese makers, dairy farmers may soon see action taken against some cheese manufacturers.

Information taken from the Internet reveals that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to Kraft Foods indicating the agency had inspected three of Kraft’s cheese plants and found that Kraft was illegally using MPC in making some of their products.

Pro-Ag and other advocacy groups across the country have been hollering "foul play" regarding Kraft and other cheese companies using the imported MPC.

The FDA letter clearly informs Kraft that milk protein concentrate is not listed in Section 133.173 (d) as one of the optional dairy ingredients that may be used in pasteurized process cheese food.

The FDA letter lists several of Kraft’s cheeses as being misbranded, including "Kraft Singles American Pasteurized Process Cheese Food," "Kraft Singles Sharp Cheddar Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food," and "Kraft Singles Swiss Pasteurized Process Cheese Food." "Kraft Velveeta Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread" is also listed as being misbranded.

The FDA allowed Kraft 15 working days to respond to their warning letter.

Consumers should no longer be fooled by misbranded cheeses. They should seriously look at the ingredients on the cheese labels and if milk protein concentrate is listed, then simply put the cheese back and take the cheese that doesn’t contain MPC. Many stores carry other brands of cheese without MPC.

It’s not certain how much dairy farmers’ prices would improve if MPC is eliminated in standardized process cheeses, but it could be substantial.

Two things are certain: 1. Dairy farmers pay prices equal to 1979 levels; 2. In November all cheese makers had to pay only $9.84 per cwt. for milk used for cheese (roughly 84¢ per gallon).

Is this what free trade is doing to our agriculture producers?

Is free trade threatening our domestic supply of food?

Recently, Pro-Ag has been embarking on a crusade to inform the news media of the huge volumes of dairy imports coming into the United States. The total dairy imports, in all probability, exceeds over 10 billion pounds of milk annually. (Equivalent to Pennsylvania's production.) MPC is one of the main culprits to be imported.

Awareness of consumers of the serious problem MPC and other dairy imports are creating are growing by leaps and bounds. Many consumers are telling me of their distaste of cheese singles and other cheeses containing MPC. Some consumers say you can’t even melt the darn stuff, and one consumer states her dog loves cheese, but he won’t eat cheese singles with MPC in it!

All states should immediately jump into this mess. Attorney Generals, State Secretaries of Agriculture can no longer be idle.

The infrastructure of our rural states are being seriously damaged. Will an apology to dairy farmers be forthcoming?

At a recent meeting of dairy farmers in Columbia Cross Roads, PA, a detailed report was given of the illegality regarding the use of MPC in many cheeses. One reporter called the PA Dept. of Agriculture regarding the MPC being used in cheeses. The Chief of Milk Sanitation in PA informed the reporter that it was legal to use MPC. Clearly, FDA says it isn’t.

I consider the present PA Secretary of Agriculture Sam Hayes to be one of the best Secretaries (if not the best) we have ever had. As a friend of the Secretary, I am asking the director of the P A Sanitation (Milk) Department to apologize to the PA dairy farmers for his remarks. These dairy farmers are losing millions of dollars as the result of the improper use of MPC.


Arden Tewksbury

Pro-Ag General Manager

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