Milk Pricing System Burdens Economy

US - International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) CEO Connie Tipton has highlighted the fundamental problems with the federal milk pricing system, saying, "Our milk pricing regulations are so complex and intrusive as to constantly require Congress and our courts to rebalance the market inequities that inevitably arise.
calendar icon 7 June 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

“The recent case of Hettinga v. United States is a vivid example of the ways that our milk pricing system distorts market decisions and places them instead into the hands of Congress and our courts. Although the decision upheld the actions of Congress and the US Department of Agriculture in addressing a loophole, it is clear from the concurring opinion of a majority of the court that they considered our milk pricing system as pushing the outer limits of the authority of Congress to regulate economic transactions, similar to what is at issue in the legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act of 2010.”

Six years ago, Hein Hettinga, a producer from Arizona filed a lawsuit claiming that the Milk Regulatory Equity Act was unconstitutional because it targeted a single individual.

Instead of looking to Congress or to the courts whenever the system needs to be patched, Ms Tipton said IDFA believes phasing out the milk pricing system and allowing competition and open markets to work would be a better solution.

“A regulatory scheme that causes two well-known judges to throw up their hands with disgust and recommend that long-standing precedents be overturned in response should be of concern to Congress,” she concluded.

In a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Mr Tipton said: “The committee will need to look long and hard before you find a better example of a regulatory system that unnecessarily burdens our nation’s economy and an entire industry, all on the backs of American taxpayers and consumers.“

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