Moffatt vs. Easter


Mike Moffatt responds to Wayne Easter’s defence of supply management, specifically the concern that eliminating supply management would open the Canadian market to cows that have been treated with growth hormone.

A brief 1998 piece by Canada’s Parliamentary Research Branch found that products from rBST cows were almost certainly being sold in Canada: “It is very likely that products such as cheese and yogurt made from milk produced by rBST-treated cows have been imported into Canada. In fact, the use of rBST has been approved in the United States since February, 1994. In that country, milk from treated cows is considered to be as safe as milk from untreated cows and there is no labelling requirement concerning rBST on dairy products.”

In short, dairy supply management does not stop U.S. dairy products from being sold in Canada. Eliminating supply management would not prevent Canada from limiting the sales of dairy products from rBST-treated cows.


Moffatt vs. Easter

  1. Okay then. I understand that Free Trade agreements may have something to say about this, but could we (in a theoretical world that doesn’t include Stephen Harper) pass a law banning the import of milk products made with rBST-treated cows? I think we need to know this before ending supply management, because I think it might prevent OUR cows from eventually being treated with rBST.
    Then there’s the whole thing about globalization and maybe we do need a re-think. Probably not to the extent of ending globalization, but major overhauls appear to be necessary. I’m not sure now is the time to open the floodgates, although now may very well be the time to prepare the floodgates for opening.

  2. Eliminating supply management would not prevent Canada from limiting the sales of dairy products from rBST-treated cows.

    How? The US already does not require differentiation of “dairy products from rBST-treated cows”. Short of banning countries, how does MM propose to do this? Only approve specific non rBST US farms?

    • Btw my solution would be to allow free trade with country of origin labelling. Those Canadian/US producers that want to remain rBST free presumably would be able to charge current Can prices (ie a hefty premium) to those that wish to avoid rBST (which the US FDA has approved)

  3. Supply management is about the …..management of SUPPLY

    It has nothing to do with quality….it has to do with quantity.

  4. To echo the last point – supply managed commodities still have to import a certain percentage – around 5-6%, so you will never be able to prevent hormone laced milk from getting into Canada this way. The best way is to develop food safety import policies that ensure that imported products meet the same standards as in Canada, and actually monitor imports.
    Wouldnt people rather pay for food that they want to eat, rather than pay taxes for food that they may not eat? SOmone who doesnt drink milk, will still have to pay taxes for government subsidies to support Canadian dairy farmers if SM goes.
    Dont Canadians support eating Canadian food, and support Canadian business? No SM = a few giant, probably US owned egg farms, or massive dairy farms. Lets keep it simple – support Canadian, family owner farms (whether incorporated or not), and keep out American interests that will only provide sub-par quality at a true factory farming level of scale. Supporting SM is also supporting animal welfare. Smaller farms are easier to manage, and farmers that make money can invest it in food safety, animal welfare, environmental programs.
    Enough rhetoric, and lets start making sense here. If farmers dont profit, we dont eat!

  5. So all those against our current systen would rather have this???

    “European dairy farmers’ anger over low milk prices spilled into Brussels with a mass protest outside the European Parliament.

    The European Milk Board (EMB), which represents 100,000 dairy farmers across the EU, is calling for a programme of voluntary reductions in production which would allow producers to cut milk output by up to 25% of their quota.

    Under their proposals, there would also be financial compensation for the value of the production lost.

    Furious EMB producer members gathered outside the parliament on Tuesday (10 July). They brandished placards calling for a fairer deal for dairy farmers and installed an overflowing “milk lake” on Place du Luxembourg as a mark of the current overproduction in milk markets across Europe.

    Hundreds of EMB members travelled to Brussels from countries including Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands to join in the protest against the mismanagement of the milk market.

    The group said overproduction on the European milk market is leading to a drastic fall in milk prices and leading directly to the next milk crisis.

    EMB said the surplus of milk in the market was pushing prices to the floor and the survival of farms could not be guaranteed this way.

    Under CAP reform, European dairy farmers are calling for the introduction of a voluntary supply constraint and the setting up of a European Monitoring Agency, to restore the balance between supply and demand.”


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