Putting the squeeze on MPCs: We missed this a few days ago, but New York Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced a bill that would levy higher tariffs on imports of milk protein concentrates, or MPCs. (Little Falls Times) The dried dairy product – if you can call it that – is becoming ubiquitous in many processed foods in the United States because it’s cheaper than domestically-produced dried milk powder. U.S. dairy farmers are taking the hit: in New York, farmers are earning $0.12/gallon for their milk, which may cost them $0.27/gallon to produce. Schumer hopes that higher tariffs on imported MPCs will boost demand for his farmers’ products. (Buffalo News)
Background: Schumer’s bill would make MPCs, which are produced under a less-than-savory process in countries not known for high food-safety standards, more expensive, and that’s great. But it doesn’t address another major issue driving the use of MPCs by food processing companies: even though MPCs have never been approved by the FDA for use in food, companies like Kraft do it anyway while the FDA turns a blind eye. Tariffs are great, but what about the enforcement of food safety standards? For more delicious MPC background, see this post.