MPA and ultra-filtered milk harms farmers, consumers alike

Wisconsin State Farmer
A large Wisconsin dairy processing plant recently lost a large contract for with Canada involving ultra-filtered milk.

Do consumers want REAL, natural milk, cheese and dairy products? Or do they want industrial, processed and manufactured so-called “milk,” “cheese,” “yogurt,” and so forth?

Cheeses with patents, some even cheese-less “cheeses” and other food products made with milk protein concentrate (MPC), ultrafiltered (UF) milk, and other highly processed milk-derived “ingredients” are being increasingly marketed and passed off as the “real” thing, when, in fact, they are causing us all harm — dairy farmers and consumers alike.

The issue of MPC and UF milk needs to be investigated by appropriate federal authorities and corrected immediately.

The rampant use of industrially processed milk protein powders and other additives that extend the cheese yields creates a milk “surplus” for which the dairy farmer is blamed, under charges of “overproduction,” when, in fact, it is the dairy processing “Industry,” including the dairy co-operatives, formed under the unsupervised federal Capper-Volstead law, that are causing these problems.

It is these same “special interests” that are benefiting financially at the expense of dairy farmers and consumers alike, with the farmers actually going out of business because of the low farm milk prices that result when these industrialized “ingredients” replace traditional, real milk in the manufacturing of dairy products.

Adding MPC, pea starch, cellulose, sodium gluconate, etc., plus altering the process, retaining more moisture, increase “cheese” yields. The pile of MPC keeps getting bigger! The US is the leading cheese producer in the world, with 12.076 billion pounds in 2016.

In 2015, Wisconsin produced 3.07 billion pounds of cheese. If Wisconsin were a country, it would rank fourth in the world for cheese production, producing over one-fourth of all U.S. cheese.

At least one third of milk in the U.S. is used to produce cheese. Huge cheese production, using MPC, creates a huge surplus of fluid milk that is not needed because of that 4 to 8 pounds of extra cheese yielded due to MPC use.

Decades ago, MPC was imported for glue, adhesives, and industrial uses. But Kraft, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and others decided to use it illegally in cheese and thousands of our foods and beverages.

MPA and ultra-filtered milk harms farmers, consumers alike.

Because of DFA, Fonterra, and others, we now have a giant MPC industry that I believe is #1 in the world, and the MPC produced possibly displaces 30% to 40%, maybe even more, of U.S. raw farm milk, which effectively creates a huge raw farm milk “surplus,” giving the perception of dairy farmer “overproduction,” because of the cheese yield increase. Both dairy farmers and consumers suffer.

More MPC use, plus other powdered dairy ingredients, such as “Milk Protein Isolate” (MPI), Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), etc., used in thousands of our foods and beverages, create an unknown additional displacement of raw farm milk.

Most consumers don’t know this is a huge concern because, after all, Milk Protein Concentrate sounds okay, right?

When consumers learn how raw milk is filtered, ultrafiltered, diafiltrated, heated, fractionated, after removing this or adding that, in order to manufacture MPC and powdered ingredients, they want no part of all these, so-called, “new” and “innovative” dairy ingredients.

Dairy farmers’ forced advertising money was used to help research, develop, promote, and advertise MPC, adulterated cheese instead of being used to promote fluid milk use.

According to the USDA National Report (Sept. 9, 2017) the “Percentage of Total Conventional Ads by Commodity” shows cheese at 26%; cream cheese at 8%; cottage cheese at 6%, for a total of 40% versus 1% for milk. This is a misuse of promotional monies.

Ironically, dairy farmers are blamed for the surplus created because of the MPC increasing cheese yields.

The latest Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “Guidance for Industry” regarding “Ultrafiltered Milk in the Production of Standardized Cheeses and Related Cheese Products” needs comments from consumers, including dairy farmers. For more information, call the FDA at 240-402-2373.

Nutrition label on a bottle of Fairlife reduced fat ultra-filtered milk.

Proper, adequate labeling, I believe, is a real problem and should be re-addressed by pressuring FDA in regards to all the ultrafiltered fluid milk and all the dry concentrated powders, such as MPC, MPI, WPC, WPI, etc.

Putting “Derived from a milk source” on labels, to satisfy allergen labeling requirements, is totally inadequate. This is deceptive and does not give the consumer the truth about what is in the product.

NO infant food or formula should contain any of these industrialized protein ingredients.

Consumers, please help! Losing dairy farmers also puts your current and future food supply in jeopardy. With only about 40,000 licensed dairies left in the whole US, we are in crisis mode!

Donna Hall

Retired Lycoming County dairy farmer