Dairyland Doublespeak

The New York Times is busting out dairy industry advocacy group, American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology, or Afact. The paper says Afact likes to present itself as a grassroots organization of dairy farmers, when it’s actually a lobbying effort backed by Monsanto and their St. Louis-based ad agency, Osborn & Barr.
The battle is over Posilac, the brand name of a Monsanto synthetic hormone used to increase milk production in cows. Cows typically produce an extra gallon a day when they are treated with Posilac. That can translate into serious money for dairy farmers.
Monsanto’s and the farmers’ problem? To meet consumer demand for natural foods, everyone from Whole Foods Market to Wal-Mart Stores now sells milk labeled as coming from cows not treated with the hormone.
Politicians have also entered the fray. Last fall in Pennsylvania, Dennis Wolff, the agriculture secretary, tried to ban milk that was labeled as free of the synthetic hormone because, he said, consumers were confused. In recent months, labeling changes have also been floated in New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Utah, Missouri and Vermont.
Monty G. Miller, a Colorado consultant who was hired to organize Afact believes that the push for milk from untreated cows is being driven by advocates like Consumers Union and PETA, “who make a profit, living and business by striking fear in citizens.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Got to love the AgriBiz multinationals. Not a smidgen of concern for the consumer, only the bottom line. Squeezing out one extra gallon of milk, rather than the safety of the food chain. Fight to dilute organic standards, so they can sell more chemicals. There is a reason that folks fought against the injection of hormones into cows, it is not healthy. So, it produced a big economic windfall to dairies both organic and non-organic. Organic milk costs more, because they are not standing around all day in pens in huge congested warehouses. Consumers react favorably to the notion that the animals are treated humanely, thus a big cash opportunity. Yet, publicly traded corporations and their stockholders, just want to see huge returns on their investments, so we have them producing more chemicals to squeeze out more milk without even caring about the long term effects on the livestock and on the consumer. It is kill the messenger, instead of creating more healthy opportunities for the worlds consumer. Classy folks they are.

    • Mmarc002 says:

      Here are the facts:
      The European Union-funded study analysed 22 brands sold in supermarkets and found that organic milk had lower levels of harmful saturated fats and more beneficial fatty acids than conventional milk.
      “Switching to organic milk and dairy products provides a natural way to increase our intake of nutritionally desirable fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants without increasing our intake of less desirable fatty acids,” Mrs Butler said. “By choosing organic milk you can cut saturated fats by 30-50 per cent.”
      The study can be researched on the internet – don’t take my word for it. This was a Newcastle University study.
      It shows that the U.S. government as well as the dairy industry has not been truthful when stating that there is no difference between organic milk and regular milk. There is actually a huge difference. One must also take into account the fact that organic milk is produced without the cows been treated with antibiotics and Monsanto’s hormones.