Too much cheese says Canada’s dairy industry

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So they drop the blend price of milk a bit and compete with the imports. oh I forgot... we poor Canadian farmers can t compete because we re such hard workers.

Its not just dairy prices, its the eggs at $ 2.60 + a dozen and a couple of big guys that control the egg business with the help of government funds to help build on and yes the poultry meat side. Someone whines and get milk at a discount while everyone else get the bill to pay for it, but isn,t it like that in lots of things you buy. Its a cut throat world and we are not going to get a deal with everything you buy , but it doesn,t hurt to try.

l guess you could go to the organic's store and buy eggs at $8.00 a dozen or box of corn flakes at $9.00.Apparently those stores at doing very well.
You can't whine about the price of Milk and eggs in a conventional grocery store and then listen to the media go on and on about the success of these organic stores.

Well we one person in the article is concerned because they don't make know how to make their cheese as good as EU cheese and an other that is selling at a premium price into a premium market . I think the answer is pretty clear for both . I have a hard time being sympathetic to either one . As far as dairy farmers & DFC I think they too know that things need to change with in their SM program and pricing . Better to get to it than to sit and complain .

One thing the story does bring to light is the fact of how much other countries support their farmers and we here get next to nothing .

If I understand correctly, this tentative trade deal will reduce the share Canadian dairy farmers have of the Canadian cheese market from 96% to 92%

In the dictionary, beside the term "dog-in-the-manger", there should be a picture of the logo of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

In addition, while Wally Smith moans that this proposed trade deal will take income from Canadian dairy farmers and give it to the European industry, he seems to have no qualms about taking income from Canadian consumers and giving it to Canadian dairy farmers - hypocrite!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

This deal sounds like a great start in dismantling the supply management system. Congratulations on your diligence in this matter Stephen.

On last night's Lang and O'Leary Exchange, National Post columnist, John Ivison, a frequent critic of supply management, noted that while the proposed EU trade deal isn't going to end supply management, it "poked a hole in it".

This "hole" is likely to be widened, and deepened, when, not if, the TPP trade negotiations proceed, and conclude, because New Zealand, in particular, is an aggressive exporter of dairy products, and sees our protectionist stance when it comes to dairy and poultry products, as a substantial impediment to any deal.

In addition, the export-oriented sectors of our economy, including our beef and pork industries, aren't going to squander the gains they made in the proposed EU trade deal, by allowing supply management to stonewall Canada's participation in the TPP talks the way they did for years in the EU trade talks.

Finally, this "hole" in our support for SM looks good on Dairy Farmers of Canada President, Wally Smith, who, not long ago, in a statement clearly-showing that Canadian dairy farmers cared about nobody but themselves, boasted that Canada had the highest farm gate prices of milk in the world.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Imo, it's unfortunate that quotas were allowed to be capitalized. It makes it hard for new producers of dairy and poultry products to get a good start.

Some farmers got their quota for free in the early 70s and now they get rich when they sell it.

An alternative would have been for all quota to revert to the relevant Board when a producer gets out of the business, and then the quota could have been distributed, again for free, to new entrants or those who want to expand.

Too late's all been politicized!

Actually in BC, when i producer sells out a portion of the quota does go to the board to be used for the new entrant program, in fact my family just got our quota this year, 13.7 kg free quota plus we bought 5.5 kg which was matched by another 5.5 kg from the board. All in all a fair good deal for new entrants to the dairy industry.

While this circus in BC might be a "fair good deal for new entrants to the dairy industry", it is still a wretchedly-bad deal for consumers who, if BC is anything like Ontario, will be paying almost 38% more for milk than US consumers, and will, therefore, continue to flock to the US to buy their milk, and thereby, completely avoid the system you believe to be such a good deal.

Why is it that even new entrants into the dairy business can't see any further than their own wallets?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Ontario has much the same thing with their entrant program,10 applicants/yr will receive up to 12 Kg of Quota,l am not clear on the details but l assume there is an option to buy more.
l think these new programs are set up to show the Negative Ninnie's out there that claim no young person can be a Dairy farmer in this Country without Quota being handed down to them but these programs proves them wrong.

All of the new entrant programs are little more than a cruel hoax which starts to inflict major misery in year 10, or whatever year it is that the after-tax principal payments start having to be made.

I've done the math for clients contemplating this venture, and it's way-too horrifying to even consider. It all depends on:

(A) ultra-low interest rates continuing effectively forever
(B) completely ignoring every sound investment principle, especially the principles about price/earnings multiples
(C) that quota can be bought on the open market, at any price, which, in dairy, can't be done.
(D) prospective new entrants have a considerable off-farm income for the entire life of the program, especially in the last half of the program when after-tax principal payments balloon to unsustainable levels.
(E) that quota will even exist a dozen years from now.

Unfortunately, the new entrant programs serve no purpose except to make people who own quota believe they are doing something positive, and they definitely are not.

Let's put it this way - anyone dumb enough to go into a new entrant program deserves to go broke, and spectacularly so, because they're deluding themselves about way too many things.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

That is a typical pencil-pushing economist way of looking at something.It will certainly cash-flow better than any small Pork or Beef operation out there, just about any banker or credit union will tell you that and is why there is a waiting list to get on it!
As far as Quota existing a dozen years from now, there are those out there that believe the Beef and Pork industry hasn't existed for the past 5 or 6 years!

You still haven't done the math, because even though new entrant programs might possibly cash flow, they won't cash flow on an after-tax basis because of heavy principal repayment requirements, and they won't cash flow without off-farm income for the life of the program. That, plus the considerable risks of having quota values go to zero while making hefty payments on it, still makes going into beef and/or pork, or not even farming at all, a far-better investment decision.

Furthermore, since I was once a banker, any banker who supports the new entrant programs, and I don't know any banker who does, hasn't done the math either. New entrant programs are a bad investment strategy by any investment criteria, and those who choose to ignore all conventional investment wisdom by going into a new entrant program, don't deserve any sympathy when, not if, things go bad.

What's worse for your position is that some of the more-astute people associated with supply management haven't had any hesitation telling me that the new-entrant programs aren't sustainable for exactly the reasons I have outlined above.

The inconvenient truth is that new entrant programs are nothing more than a public relations gimmick to make quota owners feel good about themselves, while at the same time luring suckers into a legitimized Ponzi scheme based on the wishful thinking that quota will still exist in a dozen years.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

My bank, which is a Credit Union doesn't loan money using Quota as the backing. However they will loan me money for a hog's that pencil out for your theory?
You obviously have a loathing for beef and pork, but they can compete in a free market...can you?

You can't use something as backing you don't have,new entrants must show they have a viable operation before even being eligible for the quota lottery.
l give what l get in the Loathing department! The Pork industry has been barely existing in this Country the last few years let alone competing!

The pork industry can compete in a free market...can you?
I suspect the reason you didn't answer is that you know you can't.

Least the Dairy Industry knows now that Harper can't be trusted, what he says and what he does are 2 different things.
It also means that the Conservatives have pretty much thrown in the towel when it comes to winning any seats in the Province of Quebec in the next election,seeing as the majority of Artisan cheese makers come from that Province and they will be the ones that suffer the most from this trade deal.

Why would he be worried? It would be foolish for him to support a policy that will lose him votes when you look at the numbers. Besides, Canada should be thankful to have a primeminister like Harper. This 'consumers first' agenda is great, and the conservatives will be sure to stay in power for a long time. Raube Beuerman

who said he was worried,l assume he thinks he can win the next election without Quebec,that mistake has been made before.
With Quebec holding the lion's share of Milk quota and producers of three quarters of all fine cheeses made in Canada this is more of a slap at them alone.The deal will have virtually no effect on Milk producers west of the Ontario border, which l am sure Harper took into account.

Whatever votes the Tories lose in Quebec's rural ridings because of a EU trade agreement, they'll well-more than make up with increased votes from Quebec's hog producers, and from Quebec consumers, the latter at the considerable expense of the NDP.

In addition, I seem to recall that Martha Hall Findlay pointed out that most of the staunchly pro-supply management ridings in Quebec weren't held by the Conservatives in the first place, and that, therefore, poking a hole in supply management would actually benefit the Tories in Quebec in the next federal election, not harm them.

Supply managed dairy farmers still believe they're not just the only farmers who matter, but the only people who matter - they're not, and it's a bitter pill for them to swallow.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Dairy farmers, and especially Quebec dairy farmers, are the whiniest people anywhere, and, by now, as trade lawyer, Lawrence Herman, pointed out tonight on the Lang and O'Leary Exchange, people are tired of listening to them - and that is abundantly true, especially when it comes to livestock and hog farmers, as well as younger, non-supply managed farmers.

In addition, artisan cheese makers know, or should know, that they are buying the highest farm-gate priced milk in the world in the first place - why should they be immune from marketplace reality any more than the dairy farmers who charge these extortionist prices in the first place?

Furthermore, Martha Hall Findlay's report a year, or so, ago, pointed out that there are only 8 federal ridings where supply management might make any difference in any upcoming federal election, and even in them, there could easily be more people, especially poor consumers, who would like to see supply management gone, rather than kept.

Finally, as usual, and as always, the only people not to be trusted, are the people in the dairy industry who care about nobody but themselves - and they're likely to pull every fear-mongering stunt in the book, and then some, but, even in the farm community, they're going to get absolutely no sympathy whatsoever.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Mr Thompson dont think for a minute that canadian consumers will now be paying less for cheese infect we may pay more now than ever because now there will be freight and tariff s going on

Your posting makes no sense because, by definition, a free trade agreement means less tariffs, not more. In addition, only a supply management supporter would be daft enough to think that the elimination of a 200% tariff barrier would, or even could, lead to higher consumer prices.

Furthermore, what is it about even the Dairy Farmers of Ontario admitting, in late 2010, that Ontario consumers were paying almost 38% more for milk than US consumers, and that the Ontario farm gate price of milk was within pennies per liter of the US retail price, do you, and the entire dairy industry, refuse to understand?

We heard all the same sloppy logic 25 years ago about how the Canadian wine industry would be decimated by NAFTA - it wasn't, and if the Canadian dairy industry has any intelligence at all, they will use this trade deal to make improvements, not whine and do nothing.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

A lot of Canadian cheese-making "factories" have either closed or have been bought up by Kraft and other huge companies. The remaining ones have specialized to some degree by making high-quality artisanal cheeses.

I don't foresee a big impact on the dairy industry per se.

As for the future of Canadian marketing boards, the situation is both unclear and highly-political. That said, Harper kicked the Canadian Wheat Board to the curb, rather dismissively...

Mr. Mussel is the only one in the article with a bit of reason. How about an article on how this is good for pork and beef farmers. The world does not revolve around our dairy industry, they have had it awfully good. So I'm wondering, does this mean that all the European dairy farmers that immigrated to Canada in the last 25 years will be moving back to Europe? Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

I have been doing some research on this. What I have learned is that it is expensive to buy beef and pork in Europe compared to Canada. Why wouldn't the farmers not want to export overseas. However, it would come at a cost to Canadians. The price of beef and pork would increase here in Canada. The dairy farmers of Canada have worked very hard for what they have and have put in devices to make sure they have a superior product for the safety of the Canadian people. To say that they would be moving back to Europe would be a silly statement. The quota system not only ensures a guaranteed supply of the product it make them accountable. Inspectors come onto the premises, milk tests are done upon every pick up, at the processing plant and again when the milk is in the silos. This is to ensure there are no antibiotics. The use of hormones is illegal in Canada. Without the quota system this would not be in place. With the quota system they are guaranteed an income in order to grow their business, keep up with technology, and meet the demands of a growing country. This is a business that people do not just decide to go into, it is a business that you are born into. Also, the European farmers from 25 years ago now have children who have been born in Canada - 1st generation Canadians who have now had children and are second generation Canadians. Don't forget the immigrants from before that who immigrated a long time ago. Please remember that farmers put a capital investment into their farms not because they have to but because they want to. It is for the betterment of everyone involved. It is called progress. I think this is an industry that has been built for both the farmers and the people they provide for. Be careful with how you handle it because you can't get it back once it is gone.

Dianne Droogh Ottawa, Ontario

No one talks about the dollar difference. Re-do your research, and consider the fact that the dollar difference is huge. For example, over the past 2 or 3 decades, any European that has immigrated here with, say, 2 million, can purchase a farm for almost 3 million Canadian after the exchange. That alone makes it awfully tough for any one here aspiring to farm who is not a boomer. It also gives Canadian exporters a large advantage also, since the CETA deal, and would reduce prices for pork and beef that Europeans purchase. And please Ms. Droogh, do not confuse food safety with supply management, they are unrelated. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

I beg to differ,food safety and supply management are very much linked.Just ask the more than 25 Countries that imported dairy products from China prior to the 2008 Chinese milk scandal involving melamine being added to milk to boost protein.

Supply management was introduced to protect farmers financially, it had nothing to do with food safety. Your example above is clearly a lack of food safety regulation, thats it. Raube Beuerman

With your years of experience involved in Supply Management l wouldn't question why SM was introduced.

I simply stated 25 Countries were nervous when the news came out about the Chinese tainted baby formula.We here in Canada were not one of them !..if you don't want to say that food safety and SM are not linked then that's your prerogative but there are probably quite a few young families in this country that were glad the Chinese stuff was not on our grocery shelves.

When is the last time anyone was harmed by orange juice, or even bananas, two items not grown in Canada, and definitely not produced by supply management?

If Beatrice can be trusted by consumers and our food inspection system to import, and sell, orange juice produced and packaged God-only-knows where, Beatrice can also be trusted by consumers and our food inspection system to import, and sell, milk produced and packaged God-only-knows where.

For supply management supporters to therefore imply that milk in Canadian stores is somehow safer than orange juice, solely because it is produced by supply management, is complete nonsense and implies that our food inspection system is useless.

In addition, for supply management supporters to imply that milk in Canadian stores is somehow safer than beef and pork, solely because milk is produced by supply management, while beef and pork is not, is out-right fearmongering on the part of supply management, as well as a slur against hard-working and conscientious Canadian beef and pork farmers.

And then, after implying that food produced by supply management is somehow safer than food which is not, supply managed farmers can't understand why supply management is not well-liked, and will not be missed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Who was talking about beef,pork,banana's or orange juice??

I wasn't implying anything,l was stating a fact that milk in this Country is safer under Supply Management than a country like China who seemed at the time to have no safety protocol at all.I believe over 300,000 victims and over 50,000 hospitalized babies can back me up.

Fun Facts from the Web

Unpasteurized Fruit Juices and Ciders:
A Potential Health Risk

What is the problem?

In the last decade in North America over 1,700 people have fallen ill after consuming juice and cider. Most of these outbreaks involved unpasteurized juices and ciders such as apple cider, orange juice and lemonades. Other fresh fruit juice outbreaks included pineapple, carrot, coconut, cane sugar, banana, acai and mixed fruit juices (source: CSPI, Outbreak Alert! Database).

The pathogens, or biological agents, responsible for these illnesses and deaths include bacteria (viral and parasitic groups) as well as metal contaminants. The most common pathogens were E.coli O157 and O111, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and norovirus. A few other outbreaks were due to Vibrio cholerae, Clostridium botulinum, yeast and hepatitis A.

From the website of the BC Centre for Disease Control

The use of BST hormones is NOT illegal in Canada. They just can't be sold in Canada. There is nothing to prevent dairy farmers from importing BST for their own use, and there is no restriction on the import of dairy products containing BST.

Therefore, milk and dairy products sold in Canada could easily be awash in BST, and nobody would know about it - least of all consumers who, thanks to the duplicity of dairy farmers, and the supply management system itself, are being effectively lied to about BST.

At least in the US, hormone-free dairy products are clearly marked as such, and I would suggest is because they have a non-quota system which is actually interested in telling consumers the truth about what they are buying. Our quota based system, as evidenced by Ms. Droog's erroneous claims about BST, obviously has no interest in telling consumers the truth about BST use in Canada.

I really hate it when people claim to "have been doing some research" but research completely the wrong thing, and then make factually-incorrect statements, as Ms. Droogh has clearly done.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Yes Stephen,  readers really hate it when people make factually-incorrect statements, like you did when you when you state ....."milk and dairy products sold in Canada could easily be awash in BST"

Wrong. That is not true on either side of the border.

Why? Because BST levels in the milk are virtually unchanged by rBST use. Only IGF-1 levels are elevated slightly by rBST use*.  Milk production is a process regulated by many hormones including BST but very little are ever present in dairy products. Parts per million or billion. They are naturally present in all milk and that is why you are wrong when you state ...."At least in the US, hormone-free dairy products are clearly marked as such".  

You can't label milk as hormone-free since no milk can be hormone-free! In the U.S., milk from untreated cows can be labeled as “from cows not treated with rBST” with the additional recommended statement that “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows.”*

One more thing, CFIA and Health Canada regulations require that farmers and veterinarians can only administer products and drugs approved for use in lactating dairy cattle and rBST is not approved in Canada.

* Reference, Columbia Science and Technology Law Review,  Labeling Milk from Cows Not Treated with rBST: Legal in all 50 States as of September 29th, 2010

Great, concise correction about BST without attacking anyone.
Thanks for the effort to correct these inaccuracies - it could be a job for you!

I downloaded the Parliamentary Research Branch document PRB 98-1E titled "The Regulation of rbST in Canada" prepared by Frederic Forge of the Science and Technology Division in October 1998.

While it is clear that BST may not be sold in Canada, there are no restrictions either stated, or implied, on the ability of Canadian farmers to import it for their own use. While it might be against the rules for Canadian veterinarians to sell BST to Canadian farmers, and/or administer BST to Canadian cows, there are no restrictions prohibiting the importing of BST and/or the ability of Canadian farmers to use BST they import. More specifically, and in direct contradiction to your claim, there appear to be no restrictions, at least no restrictions mentioned in this fact sheet, prohibiting farmers from administering products and drugs, such as BST, not approved for use in lactating dairy cattle.

By assuming that by restricting the sale of BST in Canada, and by establishing no penalties for producers who import it for their own use, and because there is no way to detect BST in dairy products, the claim that Canadian milk is BST free, is hogwash, and naive.

Therefore, my claim that Canadian milk and dairy products could be awash in BST still stands because nothing, even in the regulations themselves, prohibits Canadian dairy farmers from using it if they can get it.

And if I'm wrong to claim that BST-free milk in the US is labeled as "hormone free". it is a matter of the rhetorical splitting of hairs in that even to most lay people, the term-hormone free is seen to be interchangeable with BST-free. At least US consumers have the choice to avoid BST and/or hormones in their milk - Canadian consumers don't because of loopholes in our BST regulations which effectively let Canadian dairy farmers do everything they want to do with BST, except be able to buy it in Canada.

Most importantly, who the H**l are you, and who the H**l do you think you are to anonymously chew me out for making factually incorrect statements which aren't incorrect at all, and then go on to dissemenate the type of blatant misrepresations you made in your posting? I've got the regs in front of me, and you are obviously dead-outright wrong - if I'm being a bully about this, so be it - I've had it with the sanctimonious and anonymous BST and supply management half-truthers who haven't and/or can't read the regulations they are mis-representing.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Seems fairly simple, Stephen.

I was not arguing for or against BST use, I was making a statement based on logic.

Milk from any cow, in any country, regardless of rBST use, will never be “awash in BST”.

You can rant, bully and mix subjects all you want, but you are still wrong.

I don’t like the idea of using rBST and I am glad it is not approved in Canada but the fact is that rBST use does not increase levels of BST in milk. It was not approved in Canada because of animal health concerns not human health issues.

Indeed, the document you reference (on the first page) includes information that completely proves my points.......

Begin quote...
• Where the overall composition of milk is concerned (mineral, vitamin, protein and lactose content, for example), no difference has been observed between milk from rbST-treated cows and milk from untreated cows. Nor has a higher concentration of rbST been observed in the milk of rbST-treated cows. Thus the quantity of rbST contained in milk is the same whether or not the cows have been given rbST.
• In cows, rbST influences the production of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone occurring naturally in humans and cows’ milk. A slightly higher concentration of IGF-1 has been observed in the milk of rbST-treated cows. According to the 1992 conference of the Joint FAO-WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, the higher concentration of IGF-1 in milk after rbST treatment is still within the range of concentrations among a test group of cows.
End quote….

So, as I said earlier, BST levels in the milk are virtually unchanged by rBST use. Only IGF-1 levels are elevated slightly by rBST use.

I don’t know why your personal agenda leads you to fear monger about Canadian milk.

You are free to stubbornly and irrationally cling to the incorrect statement that “my claim that Canadian milk and dairy products could be awash in BST still stands.”

but you are simply wrong.

I don’t think you are always wrong. I certainly agree that, if you are a bully, then so be it.

Unsigned comment modified by editor

You still don't understand that in your haste to pillory me, you made some substantial errors of fact, and you don't seem to be the least-bit apologetic for having done so.

That BST is not approved in Canada does not mean that it is banned in Canada, yet that is the message you quite-incorrectly tried to give readers - If BST was banned in Canada, the imports of dairy products containing BST would be prohibited, but they're not. Therefore you were misleading, and completely wrong, and I will not apologize, nor do I ever need to apologize, to someone who anonymously tried to mislead people the way you did.

The fact of the matter is that Canada's dairy industry tries to claim that because BST is not approved for use in Canada, that it is not present in Canadian milk and dairy products, and that is complete nonsense - if my term awash is too harsh for you, too bad. The truth is that nobody knows how many Canadian dairy farms use BST, and therefore, the term "awash" while alarming, is not inappropriate at all. At least in the US, because of labelling of milk into non-BST categories, consumers and regulators can at least have some understanding of what percentage of milk has added BST, and which percentage does not.

However, because of the duplicity of the Canadian dairy industry, Canadian consumers, and Canadian legislators have no similar ability because they mistakenly, and naively, believe that banning the sale of BST in Canada automatically means it isn't used in Canada.

In addition, I don't understand how you can stubbornly and irrationally cling to the incorrect statement that Canadian milk and dairy products are not awash in BST because neither you, nor anyone else except possibly the companies which sell BST for use in Canada, have, or could possibly ever have, any idea at all about how much BST is actually used by our dairy farmers.

I don't fear-monger about Canadian milk, but I certainly fulminate against those in our dairy industry who have no hesitation to use fearmongering tactics to deliberately mislead consumers into believing that Canada is BST-free.

Do you want to apologize now, or do you want to dig an even deeper hole?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

And ..... there you have it again.

Another foolish writer wrongly thinks Stephen is interested in cogent debate or discussion.

That writer seems to have decided to stop banging his head against Stephen's wall. Understandable decision, there is no point to fielding that type of response.

I  may be a glutton for punishment, but I think tactics that would fail in any Grade 11 debating course bear discussing here on BF.

Let me try and summarize. The writer you "replied" to had one salient point, that "the quantity of rbST contained in milk is the same whether or not the cows have been given rbST."  He quoted your original research source. The milk is no different-simple point!

Boiled down, your response is mainly arguing that rBST may be being used in Canada. 

Your colleague isn't debating that, he says "Milk from any cow, in any country, regardless of rBST use, will never be “awash in BST”. ie. The milk is no different.

You raise US labeling. OK. Labeling milk in the US does allow consumers to choose to avoid a method of dairy farming that uses rbST. Fair enough. Not because the milk is different, because, it has been proven that it is not different.

That is why Canada can't ban milk imports from the USA, the milk is the same, so a ban would be a phyto-sanitary trade barrier. God bless free trade. Trade agreements prevent Canada from using its concerns about animal health related to rbST to prevent imports since-the milk is the same. If the milk had raised rbST levels, Canada could ban imports.

I wonder if you may not even realize that you use classic red herring fallacies – an argument given in response to another argument, which is irrelevant and draws attention away from the subject of argument. Other readers should see through this tactic.

I expect the previous writer won't make the same mistake again....hoping for a fair and cogent discussion. I will now save my energy for the future and join him!

My anonymous detractor fell all over him/herself to claim I was factually incorrect, yet his/her "evidence" was either factually incorrect itself, or was based on the narrowest of semantics.

In addition, my detractor fell all over him/herself to trot out the classic fallacy, constantly promoted by our dairy farmers, that Canada is somehow BST free, when it is not.

The fallacious arguments offered by this particular detractor hit a nerve because while other detractors claim I can't engage in cogent debate, it's impossible to do so when my detractors, particuarly from the Canadian dairy industry, constantly engage in the issuance of half-truths, and outright falsehoods.

Or to look at it another way, it is impossible to have a cogent debate with anyone who tries to claim that Canada is BST-free. In addition, it is impossible to have a cogent debate with anyone who, when proven wrong, heads for his/her own "red-herring" sanctuary, such as claiming there is no difference between milk containing BST, and milk not containing BST, while completely, and overly-conveniently ignoring the fact consumers simply don't believe that claim, and that therefore, the debate about BST has everything to do with denying Canadian consumers a choice.

Furthermore, as far as US consumers who don't want to buy milk containing BST are concerned, any milk containing any artificial BST at all is effectively awash in BST, and the consumer is always right.

Indeed, if the Canadian dairy industry didn't believe that the awash theory was also strongly held by Canadian consumers, they wouldn't spend so much time, effort, and money, claiming that Canada is BST-free.

It's like this, I couldn't care a rat's patooie about whether I consume milk containing BST or not, but a lot of consumers do, and it's denying Canadian consumers the choice available to US consumers, and at the same time allowing Canadian dairy farmers to play fast and loose with BST regs, is a double standard of the highest order. There's simply no possibility of a cogent debate with those who uphold a double standard, and that, when it comes to BST, is our entire dairy industry.

In addition, the debate about BST was never about whether BST occurs naturally in milk or not, the debate was always about adding more and then not telling consumers.

Finally, while you make a big deal about the original writer's one "salient point", you ignore the fact that it is an irrelevant point because claiming that milk from cows given artificial BST is no different than milk from cows which have not, sidesteps the issue of consumer choice completely, and if the average consumer believed the "no difference" claim for even a minute, the dairy industry wouldn't devote so much time to trying to differentiate between the two.

This is a classic example of bad marketing in that dairy farmers believe that not only do they know more than consumers, but also that they can get away with effectively lying to consumers about the extent to which Canada is BST-free.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Clear, concise and on subject as usual from Stephen.

Please don’t limit your focus to BST, Stephen, you should also prove that Canadian dairy farmers are responsible for the coldest winter on record, Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and the missing 777 airliner.

That, Grade 11 debating classes, is irony concerning Stephen’s train of logic in arguments in his previous missives.

Not everyone get irony.

While my many, and always anonymous, detractors seem to want to line up to demonstrate they're smart enough to know how to not just be able to spell words like "salient" and "missives", but also know how to use them properly in a sentence, none of them is smart enough to be able to explain why, even though BST is approved for consumption in Canada, the Canadian dairy industry keeps claiming Canada is BST-free.

My train of logic is impeccable - my detractors, on the other hand, are so completely unable to respond to undeniability of the dairy industry's double standards, that, as usual, they resort to platitudes, claims that I am merely "ranting", and every other patronizing and dismissive comment that people without any ability to support their position, always seem to adopt.

It is rather-telling that at least one of my detractors keeps mentioning Grade 11 debating classes because Grade 11 is the level at which my detractors seem to be operating.

Why can't the anonymous quasi-intellectuals on this site simply admit that the Canadian dairy industry is the god-father of one of the biggest mis-representations ever foisted on consumers, not just by claiming that supply management benefits consumers, but also by claiming that Canada is BST free?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

One of the points in this debate is the fact that it is illegal to import rbst into Canada. Therefore, logically, anyone who, secured by any means and uses rbst in Canada would also be using it illegally. In the same way, you may have in the past been aware of stories reporting illegal import (smuggling) and use of certain legal U.S. pesticides that and deemed illegal for Canadian use.

It is NOT illegal to import BST into Canada, either by farmers, or by people and/or companies importing dairy products which contain BST. Any suggestion that BST can't be imported into Canada is based either on propaganda dissemenated by the dairy industry, or on the vivid imaginations of certain individuals who simply don't know what they are talking about.

The only thing about BST which is restricted in Canada is that it can't be sold.

I think your mistake is trying to apply "logic" to a situation, which like almost everything else to do with supply managed dairy farming, and BST, defies logic.

The double standard is that it is absolutely ridiculous to ban the sale of BST, but not ban the import of products containing BST, and then have our dairy industry claim that Canada is BST-free.

As far as I'm concerned, this double standard on the part of our dairy industry shows just exactly how duplicitous, how sneaky, and how manipulative, and how desperate for control over consumers, our dairy industry really is.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Somatotropin is referred to in Schedule F, Part I of the Food and Drugs Regulations. A medication included in this Schedule may be sold only by an authorized practitioner in Canada. If rbST receives a notice of compliance, it may be sold to a dairy producer only by an authorized veterinarian, who will be responsible for recommending to his or her client how best to use the product. The practice of veterinary medicine is governed by the provincial organizations responsible for issuing the licence that every veterinarian must have in order to practise. Thus, the fact that only authorized practitioners may sell veterinary medicines constitutes a control over the sale of these products and acts as a means of restricting any abuse of them.

Looks like you need a license to administer restricted veterinary medicine. So, if you import rBST without a valid veterinary license, then your argument falls apart, again.

If BST was a "banned substance", imports of dairy products containing artificial BST would be prohibited, but they're not, and therefore, BST is not banned.

The only thing banned about BST in Canada is it's sale - there are no penalties against farmers for buying BST outside the country and bringing it in.

In addition, your quote is highly selective in that it doesn't include that part which notes that there are no restrictions against dairy farmers for administering products to their animals which have not been approved for use in Canada - I believe I pointed that out in one of my earlier postings, and can't understand how you missed it, unless you wanted to miss it.

Furthermore, it is plain from the above paragraph that you don't need to be a veterinarian to administer BST, nor do you need to be a veterinarian to import BST, and that's why dairy farmers do it, and that's why nobody knows to what extent Canadian milk may be awash in artificial BST.

It's really simple - veterinarians can't sell BST to Canadian farmers but US retailers can, and obviously do, and can do so quite legally. There are no restrictions on the import of BST - no veterinarian would because he/she couldn't legally sell it, but dairy farmers can import it, and can quite-legally administer it to their cows.

In addition, you are confusing the term "sell" and "administer" - they mean two clearly-different things.

Come on, really, people, this is not hard to understand - there is no ban against the consumption of artificial BST in Canada, there is no ban on the import of BST by farmers, and there are no penalties which can be imposed against farmers who use it, unless the farmer also happens to be a veterinarian. That's also why the claims that Canada is BST-free are such a load of crap.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

But vets can sell rBST to farmers under some conditions in Canada. rBST is not totally banned in Canada, its use is very restricted. Only a licensed vet can prescribed the restricted medication. You must have missed that part so your comments come from 'highly selective' reading from the federal site.

Only one person in this stream making a BST-free argument.

He will think this is semantic issue but it a factual and scientific issue.

BST is ALWAYS present in ALL cows’ milk at levels of about 10 parts per billion.

This is true regardless of whether or not cows are treated with supplemental BST.

You can disagree with BST treatment (I do) but you can’t be concerned with BST in milk since the levels are constant.

So you can’t ban dairy products containing artificial BST since milk is NOT changed by BST treatment in cows.

Naturally-produced BST and artificially-produced BST are identical.

Trade agreements prevent Canada from using its concerns about animal health related to BST use to prevent imports. If US milk did have raised BST levels, Canada could ban imports.

The factual issue makes the banning and trade issues irrelevant.

Not discussing the same issue makes the whole thing nonsensical.

Nobody cares about naturally-occuring BST - the issues arise when artificial BST is added.

In addition, if milk is not changed by BST treatment, then why do a significant number of US consumers appear willing to pay more to buy milk from untreated cows?

Nobody cares about so-called constant levels of BST, and if natural BST and artificial BST are identical, in large part because consumers simply don't believe these seemingly rather-preposterous claims, and who could blame them? - consumers do care about being able to make a choice, a choice which Canada denies them, but which the US doesn't.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The above is a classic example of argumentum ad populum (appeal to widespread belief, bandwagon argument, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people) – where a proposition is claimed to be true or good solely because many people believe it to be so.

Please stop tormenting Stephen with facts. His views are fixed.

Here is some excellent advice I have seen before on this site.

If you get into a battle of wits with an unarmed man, he will drag you down to his level and then beat you with experience.

Logic is useless in this case.

I've been saying all along that logic has no place in Canada's double standards regarding BST, or even supply management for that matter.

We boast that Canada is BST-free when it is not, and can not possibly be - we also boast that supply management comes at no cost to consumers when it does not, and can not.

And then, in response to my pointing out these double-standards, and the stupidity which stands behind them, those anonymous sods who are well enough educated to know at least one phrase in Latin, as well as what it means, but aren't well-enough educated to remember their own names, and the obvious fact that if they used it, it might attract some modest credibility to their opinions, arise from their lairs to offer nothing but sarcasm.

More to the point, if my views are fixed it is because of facts, and basic economic principles which my detractors studiously avoid recognizing and accepting. There is nothing wrong with argumentum ad populum if what you arguing is true, and when it comes to the stupidity and double standards of BST and supply management, that is entirely the case.

The flaws in argumentum ad populum arise when people make these arguments based on half-truths, especially the half-truths the dairy industry continues to proffer about both BST and supply management.

To turn your argument on its side, I am doing nothing more than giving "unarmed" men the "arms" necessary to be able to see through the half-truths and mis-representations continually emanating from our dairy industry, and judging from the private e-mails and phone calls I regularly receive, a lot of people who didn't at one time detest the double standards of our dairy industry, do so now.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Ok class, as agreed previously, we will conclude collecting material dated prior to noon today and let you all get started writing.

You have a wealth of material to analyze. Papers are due 5 pm on the 25th. No extensions. To provide consistent content, only posts from this string can be included. Direct quotes from posts are not included in the word counts for your assignment.

It was funny that we ended with a simple ad hominem attack. As per the written task assignment, you must not only identify as many formal and informal logical fallacies as possible but, more importantly, correctly explain the specific elements of faulty reasoning. Remember that using forms that we learned about in symbolic logic in our unit in January may be helpful.

Out of fairness to all posters, we had agreed to disclose our purpose at the end of our project. This was a free and public exchange of arguments. Hopefully BF readers and posters benefited from our gathering of real world arguments for this class. It is much more relevant and meaningful than using dry textbook examples.

Perhaps the best paper can be submitted to BF for possible posting.


That posting was a waste of time reading...and not the least bit entertaining.

LOL. Now that was funny!!!

Yes, funny for sure but now we know how the puzzle fit together in the end!

In making its January decision 1999 on rbST, Health Canada noted that consumption of products from animals that have been given rbST does not present significant risks to human health; it banned the sale and use of rbST in Canada for reasons of animal health.
Therefore anyone using such a substance in CANADA would be using a banned substance.

That be why many do not reply to Steve the Great or Dear Abby .
It can be fun to read when some one tells every one else what they are doing wrong . Kinda reminds me of don't shoot the messenger , careful what you ask for and do as I say not as I do .

Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 ("IGF-1") has been linked to causing or contributing to diabetes, cancer, Metabolic Disease, and a number of others. For example, for most cancers to grow, they need serum glucose plus IGF-1 and/or insulin. Insulin and IGF-1 can substitute for each other with just a 30% difference in metabolic efficiency in most cases.

I don't know, and perhaps nobody knows if the increased levels of IGF-1 in rBST milk are significant.

While there have been numerous tests conducted on rBST and non-rBST milk so as to compare and contrast these two classes of milk, all of these tests are merely based on currently known science.

Milk is extremely complex. Our knowledge of milk, in spite of our significant scientific advances in the last 100 years, is miniscule.

What test will be subsequently discovered that we should have been running all along, but are currently ignorant about? We must realize that there are many unknowns, even today.

All we can say truthfully today is that we have not yet found a difference between rBST and non-rBST milk sufficient to change government policy. That is no guarantee that we won't subsequently discover a difference, and subsequently regret our decisions up til now.

This is where the Precautionary Principle may be useful and/or essential.

Always thought it was rather ingenious of US milk producers,they get the management benefits of using rBST in their herds and at the same time if some decide to bend to the morally conscious consumers they can get the premiums that go with "non-treated"milk.All the while knowing there is no difference between the two.

Sorry, I forgot the last L

I am very excited to see some of the awesome new hard cheese products that will soon be arriving. Its unfortunate that the SM system is so restrictive that there isn't an opportunity for domestic cheese makers to make top quality cheese, here at home, instead of Cracker Barrel and Kraft cheese slices lol that are so readily available now....

Sean McGivern

I wondering if you are very excited to see that "common sense prevails" and that NFU Ontario will be a choice and voice (once again) for small scale diversified farm families.
This issue that you raised sure was a waste of time and money

G. Kimble

As long as the Ontario branch of the NFU exists solely to funnel money to, and take orders from, the NFU national office in Saskatoon, nothing about the NFU has anything to do with "common sense" at all.

Being a NFU member is, even at the best of times, an exercise in placing hope over reason, and/or placing a distorted view of the past ahead of any sort of realistic expectations for the future, in exactly the same futile way that participating in the new entrant programs for dairy and poultry, or even supporting supply management itself, are also exercises in placing hope over reason.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Sean, Come to eastern Ontario, we have lots of people making great local cheeses. Everything from Water Buffalo, sheep, goat to even cow's milk.
It can be done and it is right here in Athens, Delta, Lyndhurst area.
Inspite of SM these local cheese makers are thriving!

It must be the BEST kept secret , for I have seen or heard of the Cheeses from these places you mentioned. I do not know of any Water Buffalo around.
So enlighten the readers of these people or places that make these Cheeses that you speak of.

Lots of media coverage of boom in small on-farm milk processing being promoted strongly by DFO.

At least two water buffalo herds as well.

Here is one good example from BF website......(could not use hyperlink here)

Dairy program helps farmers explore on-farm processing

April 11, 2013

Dairy Farmers of Ontario is introducing a follow up program to a previous one called project origin that helped interested farmers explore on-farm processing.

Project origin II is designed to determine if more farmers are interested in on-farm processing or if any existing or new on-farm processors want to become federally registered rather than provincially registered, DFO says in a report released at its recent spring policy conference. Getting a federal license would enable on-farm processors to distribute their product across Canada as opposed to being restricted to Ontario, which they are with a provincial license.

There are currently three on-farm fluid milk processors and eight cheese or yogurt on-farm processors in Ontario.

Bonnie den Haan, who is part of the on-farm fluid milk processing company Sheldon Creek Dairy near Loretto (near Orangeville), says they were part of project farmgate, which DFO introduced in 2009 to assist farmers establish on-farm fluid milk processing. But many farmers interested in the program wanted to manufacture cheese, and to encompass both fluid and industrial milk projects DFO established project origin.

Bonnie, her husband, John, and their family own Sheldon Creek Dairy. They pasteurize and bottle whole and dark chocolate milk from the Holstein cows on their farm, Haanview Holsteins. The milk is sold in one-quart bottles and isn’t homogenized.

Den Haan says they weren’t part of project origin, where the farmers in the program applied as a group to get money and used a consultant that DFO selected.

She says project farmgate was awesome. They received help from DFO for some consulting work to design their facility. They also had access to a DFO report about on-farm processing in the United States.

About helping on-farm processors become federally registered, den Haan says that’s something farmers should take on themselves after they get set up. She says at Sheldon Creek Dairy they don’t have any plans in the near future to get federally registered and if they do “we’ll do it on our own.”

“DFO should be helping Ontario farmers supply Ontario consumers,” den Haan says. “We’re a domestic industry and that’s the direction we should be staying in.”

She says the on-farm processing at Sheldon Creek Dairy “has been a really fun experience. People love our product and they love coming to the farm.” BF

Well that did not answer my question where is the Water Buffalo herd and the farms making Cheese in those 3 areas.

Still a surprise to a few people apparently, the first and largest water buffalo herd has been in business producing milk for seven years near Stirling, Ontario. They have received lots of media attention and now milk about 250 water buffalo. The farm couple operate as the Ontario Water Buffalo Company.

They are thriving and their milk is shipped to Quality Cheese in Vaughan, Ontario where it is made into authentic Italian 'Mozzarella di Bufala'. Quality Cheese also make delicious Ricotta and smoked Scarmorza from the milk. There are also a few other herds in Ontario.

I know there is Water Buffalo herds in Ontario , I just want to know where are they in the Athens and Delta Area. I would also like to know who is making cheese in the Area also because I never heard of any of the such and I for one would Buy some if I knew. Miss the Old Cheese Factory where you can get Fresh Curds as soon as it is made unlike the day old curd.

A complete list of Canada's 180 cheese makers in online at
There are website links to most of the more than 40 Ontario cheese plants, the majority of those are small scale artisan producers.

The beef farmers could have had the EU market years ago if they could figure out how to raise beef without Hormones.They better read the fine print of this deal because that still applies!

We raise it here in Ireland without hormones and to the most stringent environmental controls which is what the subsidies are supposed to cover the cost of but guess what ,it dosent. I am giving up producing organic, grass fed, endangered native Irish breed beef because it's uneconomic on a small farm in the west of Ireland. Our forefathers lived off butter and cheese so I am going to give that a go.

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