The milk of the shame

News 23 January, 2018
  • Simon Bégin (special Collaboration)

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018 16:00

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018 16:00

    Look at this article

    You find that the milk and cheeses “at home” are expensive and that this would not be a bad idea to have unlimited access to milk us cheap in abolishing the famous supply management?

    For your wallet, you’re probably right, at least in the short term, but in all other aspects, you will have to butcher the nose when you taste your milk “made in USA” because it is a real shame on the social, environmental and health.

    Of course, there are excellent cheeses and american farms dairy family from Vermont, or Wisconsin may be comparable to farms in quebec. However, they are in decline in the face of the california model farms of 1000 cows or more, in semi-arid, operated by illegal workers, and that produce milk with the growth hormones.

    If the milk us a taste if bitter, it is because :

    • of veterinary products banned here are allowed in the United States, including the somatropin that force production but ruin the health of cows;
    • the expulsion of illegal workers, promised by Trump would lead to the bankruptcy of the economic model that is based on the exploitation of these people, often in conditions of semi-slavery;
    • this is a non-sense environmental and agronomic grouping of several thousands of animals, up to 15 000 on some of the farms of New Mexico, in places where water is scarce and where these herbivores are fed almost exclusively grain imported from other regions;
    • the disappearance of family farms in favor of mega farms creates a desert social in the countryside. Where lived many families, we don’t see more than the mobile homes where the workers live illegal;
    • wherever comparable systems to the management of the offer have been abandoned, Australia, France or the United Kingdom, the intermediaries have pocketed the savings promised, the families continued to pay the full price and rural, have been unstructured.

    Is this the model that we want in our home? It is necessary to ask the question at the time when the americans put a lot of pressure to drop supply management in the negotiations for the renewal of the NAFTA.

    Not everything is wonderful in the world québec dairy and all is not dark on the american side. For all kinds of reasons, climate, technological, or simply size, the dairy farms in the u.s. are generally more effective than ours.

    But productivity is not all. We must continue to evolve to this chapter, probably by accepting that our farms grow, but without sacrificing the core values that are safety and quality of food, the protection of the environment, the occupation of the territory and social justice.

    Special Collaboration of the Institut Jean-Garon