Texas Dairy Farmers Headed 
To Washington in April

Waco, TX (April 7, 2003) - Texas dairy farmers will join others from across the nation in Washington, D.C., April 7-10, in a call to limit imports of casein and milk protein concentrate (MPC).

The delegation led by Texas Farmers Union (TFU) President Wes Sims will advocate closing trade loopholes that allow a flood of MPC and casein into the United States. The farmers specifically support the Milk Import Tariff Equity Act -- S.560 by Sens. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Mark Dayton, D-Minn., and H.R. 1160 by Reps. Don Sherwood, R-Pa, and David Obey, D-Wis. - which would limit these imports by imposing effective tariffs.

"American dairy producers need fair markets," Sims said. "Dairy farmers are getting the lowest prices for their products that they've seen in 25 years. Imported casein and milk protein concentrates fuel the dairy crisis by flooding the domestic market."

A 2001 General Accounting Office study indicated that MPC imports had surged by 600 percent in six years, more than doubling in 1998 and 1999. While certain imported powdered milk products are subject to tariff-rate quotas, MPC and casein are not.

Sims said "The farmers also are asking the Food and Drug Administration to uphold standards that restrict the use of MPC in standardized cheese".

While in Washington, the farmers will meet with members of the Texas congressional delegation and attend briefings with officials from the FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture and International Trade Commission.

The grassroots movement is organized by the National Farmers Union and backed by other dairy producer organizations. For more information, contact Sims at 254-776-4700.

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556