By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Deadly Dairy Future


The Chinese recently celebrated their 4,699th new year, the Year of the Snake. To the Chinese, the Year of the Snake is a time to be cautious. To the Chinese, the snake represents an underlying threat. This year, mainland China will be welcoming in the year of the dairy cow, a real threat.

The Chinese have an inferiority complex. They've seen the Japanese people grow an average of two inches over the last two generations (40 years) while their heights have remained stable. In order to attain the same physical growth, the Chinese government has been working closely with America's dairy industry, recognizing that growth hormones in milk are the missing link keeping them from attaining the same stature as the Japanese.

The Chinese are developing enormous state-of-the-art 10,000-cow dairy farms, but they do not have the same fully developed power and electric resources as do the Americans or Japanese. Refrigerators are not found in every home. How to cool and store the milk? That problem has been solved.

The first Chinese-made fully automatic, milk packing equipment has been manufactured by the Anhui Keyuan Group. They will now put the milk into Parmalat-style shelf stable containers. Who will drink the half-pint cartons? School children.

The Chinese dairy industry has targeted kids. Their method is to borrow another appropriately named American marketing tool, Looney Tunes.

Strange bedfellows

Warner Brothers has developed a licensing deal with the Chinese so that milk cartons will include "fun-filled flavor" for Chinese consumers.

Perhaps we should send the Chinese some fun-filled x-ray machines, hip replacement devices, and heart valves. They'll soon be needing them.

I dread the thought of what happens when Porky the Moo-Shu Pig meeds Peking-Daffy Duck at Shanghai's new dairy bar. Indigestion? Osteoporosis? Heart disease, asthma, and cancer? Choose one from column A and one from column B. An American menu for American diseases. One glass of milk and thirty minutes later, the Chinese will be wanting more.

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z

Executive Director
Dairy Education Board

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