500,000 young cows killed to raise milk product prices
❝ Some of the nation’s largest dairy producers will pay $52 million to settle an antitrust class action with consumers in 15 states and the District of Columbia…
In the underlying lawsuit, lead plaintiff Matthew Edwards sued a cadre of dairy giants, including Land O’ Lakes, the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America and Agri-Mark, in Federal Court in September 2011.
The dairy producers were accused of conspiring to prematurely slaughter more than 500,000 cows between 2003 and 2010 to limit the production of raw milk and drive up prices for yogurt, sour cream and other dairy products.
❝ “The biggest dairy producers in the country, responsible for almost 70 percent of the nation’s milk, conspired together in a classic price-fixing scheme, forcing higher prices for a basic food item onto honest consumers and families,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman…“We’re pleased that this settlement will return some of what consumers lost due to this massive fraud perpetrated for ill-gotten gains.”
❝ The class includes all consumers who from 2003 to present purchased cream, half & half, yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream in California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
❝ Cheryl Leahy, general counsel for animal rights organization Compassion Over Killing, said her organization “was proud to have spearheaded the research” that led to this class action litigation.
“Not only was the price of milk artificially inflated, but this scheme ultimately cost 500,000 young cows their lives…”
❝ No proof of purchase is required to submit a claim. Two levels of fixed cash payments will be set based on class members’ purchases and the number of claims submitted…
Affected consumers can submit claims or objections…at http://www.boughtmilk.com.
Of course, our half-assed politicians and friendly neighborhood attorneys here in New Mexico never thought price-fixing a commodity like milk and milk products was important enough to join the class action.