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Kootenay Columbia's MP challenges Liberals to protect local dairy farmers

By Contributor
May 2nd, 2016

Last week in the House of Commons, New Democrats tabled a motion calling on the Liberal government to keep its election promises and commitments made at the beginning of its mandate and require all Canadian producers to respect cheese composition standards immediately.  

“The situation is urgent and producers are tired of waiting. The solution is simple and comes down to the government standing up for Canada’s dairy industry by enforcing cheese composition standards,” said Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski.

“Our family dairy farms are being threatened and the NDP will continue to fight for their future.”

Canadian producers lost a total of over $220 million in 2015 due to imported diafiltered milk from the United States. The industry is calling for this problem to be solved immediately by properly enforcing cheese composition standards.

Diafiltered milk is a milk protein concentrate from the United States designed to circumvent Canadian regulations and laws as no American processor uses it.

“The importing of diafiltered milk has significant effects on the dairy industry” said Creston Dairy Farmer Wayne Harris.

“I am also very concerned about the hormones used in the production of the imported milk products – some are not even legal in Canada.”

Trevor Hargreaves of Dairy BC agrees with Harris.

“It is a practice that is extremely damaging to BC producers, and the government needs to take action to support local agriculture.”

“The family farms in our region are an integral part of our economy and local food system” said Stetski.

“Decisions being made in Ottawa will impact their future, and I will be there to ensure our region has a voice in the conversation.”

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