Taking a stand for Whatcom County’s dairy industry

The following newsletter was sent to subscribers to Sen. Ericksen’s newsletter, Feb. 5, 2019. To subscribe to Sen. Ericksen’s newsletters, click here.

To see testimony for Sen. Ericksen’s truth-in-labeling legislation, click here.

  • Bill would bar non-dairy substitutes from being marketed as “milk”
  • Federal inaction forces states to act
  • Similar law approved in North Carolina

These days you might get the idea that milk comes from almonds, or oats, or even soybeans. So many milk-substitutes are showing up on supermarket shelves that you might forget the real thing is in the refrigerator case. That’s why I have sponsored a bill this session to require truth in labeling – and prohibit makers of milk substitutes from calling their products “milk.”

Senate Bill 5349 would protect consumers by ending the misleading labeling of non-dairy beverages. Milk substitutes still could be sold in stores, but only milk and products containing milk would be allowed to be sold as milk.

Consumers deserve to know the truth. These imitation products aren’t milk. They lack the protein and other nutrients found in the real thing. Unfortunately, federal regulators have been slow to crack down on products that purport to be milk, and states have been forced to take action.

Last year, the state of North Carolina enacted similar legislation, contingent on neighboring states enacting similar laws. Now it’s Washington’s turn. You can read more about this legislation here.

Ask any dairy farmer in Whatcom County: You can’t milk a soybean.

To see Sen. Ericksen’s Dairy Day speech, click here.

Dairy industry gives Whatcom County reason for pride

Dairy farms are big business for Washington and Whatcom County. Washington ranked as the nation’s 10th largest producer of milk in 2012. Because of the concentration of dairy farms in Whatcom County, the dairy industry is a critical element of our local economy.

  • Whatcom County is the second-leading dairy county in the state, behind Yakima County.
  • Whatcom County has more individual dairy farms than any other county in Washington – more than the entire state of Arizona.
  • Whatcom County milk sales totaled $193 million in 2012.
  • Much of Whatcom County’s milk is converted to powder at Darigold’s Lynden plant, but sales of liquid milk and other value-added products is growing.

Last week, we passed a resolution in the state Senate honoring Dairy Day, when producers and princesses visit the statehouse and remind lawmakers of the important contribution made by the dairy industry to our life and culture. Around the Capitol, Dairy Day is one of the most-anticipated days of the year – not least because it means free ice cream samples under the rotunda.

With Taryn Abercrombie of Lynden, the alternate dairy ambassador for Whatcom County.

Dairy ambassadors visit the Senate Republican Caucus last week as they make the rounds of the Capitol.






Recommended reading

Salon owner Julie Broberg in the (Tacoma) News Tribune: Please, legislators, don’t drive salon owners like me out of business

The (Longview) Daily News: State senators drop booth renter bill after negative response

Dori Monson on KIRO-FM: Cyrus Habib’s mockery of worried hairstylists shows left’s contempt for small biz

Walla Walla Union Bulletin: Marcus Whitman’s place in state history remains

Saul Spady on KTTH-AM: What happens when Seattle politics seep into Eastern Washington?

Sen. Mike Padden: Legislature finally fixes I-940, and does it right


Contact us!

Email: Doug@SenatorEricksen.com

Phone: (360) 786-7682

Mail: P.O. Box 40442, Olympia, WA 98504