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At this time, the price of butterfat matches in pretty well with the value of the whole milk in the many forms in which it is sold but should the selling price of butter go down below that which is based on the cost of feed which makes it either profitable or unprofitable to the farmer and when this price gets low enough that it won't pay him, he is naturally going to quit producing milk for the purpose of making butter.
I might say also that since our standard of living has risen in the past years due to more employment and high wages, the production of butter has been reduced, considerably-in fact, to the extent of 20 percent, for the reason that there has been a greater demand for the products in which the whole milk is used-ice cream, cheese, etc., and has taken this volume away from the butter production, which is the ultimate goal of the cream when there is a surplus.
With the production of butter already suffering for the reason mentioned and with the addition of the tax appeal, I am sure will reduce the butter production even more, which I believe will not be the best for the industry or farmers all over the country.
The old saying, “Bread and butter is the staff of life”—Are you going to let this be imitated out of American Popularity?
Considering the fact that butter is such an important food and we are a butter country, it looks rather singular that this should be picked on continually for the purpose of putting in its place an imitation. It should be the interest of all of us to make a good butter and keep good butter on the American table. These are some of the facts as I see them and thank you for your consideration. Sincerely.
PAUL A. SCHULTZE,
RESOLUTION OF LOCALS 262 AND 264, UNITED PAPERWORKERS OF AMERICA, CIO,
AND THE LABOR COUNCIL OF KNOX COUNTY OHIO, COMPOSED OF ALL OF THE UNIONS IN KNOx CoUNTY, OHIO
This resolution represents 800 members of the two local unions mentioned above and 3,500 mentioned in the council. We are opposed to any change in the present laws regulating the sale of oleomargarine which will permit this product to be sold yellow.
We are not opposed to the removal of certain taxes on oleomargarine. Such taxes which we believe to be unnecessary are the retail taxes and the State taxes.
However, we do feel that the tax of one-quarter of a cent per pound on the manufacture of oleomargarine is necessary to provide the funds for policing the industry. This we believe to be necessary to help assure the consumer the best possible product for the price paid.
We want oleomargarine to be sold as oleomargarine, with the reduction in the taxes to enable the consumer to benefit by the reduction rather than to have the savings eaten up by the oleomargarine industry. Our people want the privilege of coloring their own oleomargarine at a definite savings to themselves as consumers.
We feel that if we allow the industry to sell colored oleomargarine, we will be actually allowing them the privilege of increasing the cost to the consumer. This fact has been proven to our satisfaction by a national survey of the comparative prices of colored and uncolored oleomargarine. In States where colored oleomargarine is permitted to be sold, the price of the colored product ranges to as high as 27 cents above the price of the uncolored product. This provides an opportunity of taking unfair advantage of the consumer.
By no stretch of the imagination could the tax of one-quarter of a cent per pound on uncolored oleomargarine be called a burdensome tax. Yet it does assure the consumer the privilege of buying a wholesome and nutritious spread and of serving it either colored or uncolored to suit his taste.
One point that we can't stress too much is the possibility of fraud. Realizing that the quantities of butter sold are so huge and that the price range between oleomargarine and butter is such that we believe there would be a tremendous incentive for substitution and fraud if the sale of colored oleomargarine were permitted.
In our estimation, we feel that people are mistakenly being led to believe that the removal of the present tax would bring a saving to the consumer. We, therefore, feel that there should be some Government restriction that would compel the sale of oleomargarine as oleomargarine in an uncolored state for the ultimate protection of all the consumers.
HENRY BROWN, President, Local 262, United Paperworkers of America, CIO.
STATEMENT OF E. S. TRASK, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE UPPER SNAKE RIVER VALLEY
DAIRYMEN'S ASSOCIATION, INC., IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO The above-named association is now in its eighteenth year and has served 8,193 patrons during that time however, less than 3,000 are active now.
1. Claims have been made that the passage of this oleo legislation would reduce the cost of living. This we deny, but admit that it would save the housewife a little trouble in mixing her own coloring.
2. We have no obj on to oleo choosing a color of its own different from butter.
3. The most progressive countries in the world are those which use plenty of dairy products.
4. The dairy industry is responsible for a very large portion of the agricultural income in this country. The reduction of that income would have an immediate and permanent effect upon national economy.
5. We believe the ingredients compounded into oleo should pass the same rigid inspection as the ingredients that are made into butter. The long-range future of agriculture in this country as well as every other depends to a great extent upon the production of livestock to replenish the ingredients taken out by crops.
6. Dairying has been handicapped during the last year or so to the extent that a great many farmers have discontinued. The unrestriction of colored oleo would be another discouraging factor to those who milk cows.
7. It is not the intention of the dairy industry to try to prohibit the manufacture of oleo even if they had the power. The American people have a right to eat what they please. We believe the trade-mark of butter is the yellow color and if that is not infringed upon, it is doubtful whether there would exist any quarrel between oleo and butter.
Oleo originated out of the necessity of war in Europe and it is our opinion that if and when normal times come again this wartime scare will be over.
Those who represent from 20 to 25 percent of the agriculture in the country plead with your committee to postpone action on the oleo question.
STATEMENT OF F. L. HAMMACK, MANAGER, Vigo Co-OPERATIVE MILK MARKETING CO.,
INC., TERRE HAUTE, IND.
The real issue in the oleomargarine tax repeal measure is whether or not imitation and substitute products are to be allowed to be sold without being clearly identified as imitations and substitutes. All of the arguments about lower taxes, lower prices to the consumer, boom to the soybean and cotton farmer, are beside the point and in general very misleading. They are merely a smoke screen to cloud the real issue.
On April 28 the House of Representatives voted to repeal all Federal oleo taxes without any restrictions to prevent an imitation from being sold as the natural product. This is the beginning of legalizing imitations so manufacturers can duplicate as many of the features of the natural product as possible, so long as they do not use exactly the same name for the product. If the Senate reacts in the same way there will be opened many fields for many imitation foods of all kinds much of which would not be known by the consumer.
It would bring out on the market imitation milk with vegetable fats which could be produced in large manufacturing plants in large quantities. We have some of this product on the market today. It would only be a short step to making of a synthetic ice cream and many other imitation products.
Only a short time ago a scientist announced having made an imitation meat that could hardly be told from beef. This product also comes from the grain and vegetable field. Widespread sale of these imitations without regulations to force their proper identification as a substitute regardless of how, when or where they are sold would mean complete strangulation of the dairy industry.
This strangulation of the dairy industry which accounts for approximately 30 percent of our national farm income would wreck havoc with our national farm economy. The first step has been made by the House of Representatives to allow exact imitation to be sold without regulation and no doubt must lead to the same treatment of all imitations, not only in the butter field. Just how far this might lead no one can estimate, but it is a problem that merits very close study before final action is taken.
Meat, milk, and their byproducts amount to approximately 50 percent of our national farm income. The effects of the loss of a large portion of this income would cause a great economic reaction on our farm economy. No doubt our cattle population would decrease with great rapidity. Farmers would be forced to turn to other fields for their living, millions of employees of dairy processing plants would lose their job. Delivery of dairy products uses more trucks than any other commodity to deliver products to the consumer. This would be greatly curtailed. It is very definitely a question of great economic importance.
It is a question of importance to the health, intelligence, and strength of our nation. Statistics and history tells us that people who live in a land where livestock numbers are high are healthier, more intelligent, live longer, and maintain a higher standard of living. Many of the old countries who have a few cattle and produce very little milk and meat, and who depend largely upon grain and continuously faced with starvation, short life span, and poor intellectually and have a very low standard of living.
It has an important bearing on soil fertility. Soil conservationists today are emphatically pointing to the necessity of a farm program that will halt the rapid depletion of our soil. They point out that if we continue to deplete the soil at the rate of previous years and continue to increase in population we will soon not be able to produce food to supply the nation.
Stock farming does not deplete the soil as rapidly as does grain farming. The decrease in livestock population and the stepping up of grain farming would hasten soil depletion. True, commercial fertilizer could replace some of this loss. Use of commercial fertilizer would increase the cost of the product. Also much of the commercial fertilizer is a byproduct of the meat packing industry which would be greatly curtailed.
We have many, many imitation and synthetic products on the market which in some instances can hardly be told from the natural product. They can be sold cheaper and fill a need for those people with a low income. They certainly þáve a place on that market. No one could deny that. We do have however, many regulations and restrictions on how those products are advertised and sold to prevent fraudulent sales.
Patents protect infringement upon many items from substitutes or imitations. Copyrights protects the writer from being copied, regulations require goods to be labeled, as to the percent of wool used in manufacture. Most of those items which have been created by the scientific and inventive power of man are controlled by regulatory laws. Substitutes and imitations are required to so advertise and label that any consumer will know what material they are purchasing. Those natural products cannot be patented and are protected from duplication by various laws and regulations.
The purpose of such regulations is not to grant a monopoly on any product but to insure the consumer that the product they purchased was exactly as represented and that it plainly identified as an imitation or substitute.
The repeal of oleo taxes alone would not in itself bring about all these things. The precedent, established in permitting an imitation and substitute to be sold without any regulatory measures is the issue that is very serious and would lead to wholesale of substitutes and imitations as the genuine product. This problem merits some very serious thought from every individual as well as our Senators.
Are we going to take the first step toward increasing our grain production and decreasing livestock production and in a few generations find our nation faced with the same problers of hunger and low standard of living that we find today in Europe and the Far East?
Substitutes and imitations are usually much cheaper and could wreck the market for natural products if not properly identified to all consumers.
Our Congress is charged with the responsibility of protecting the independence, health, wealth and welfare of the Nation as a whole and its people individually. Before any decision is made, serious consideration and careful thought should be given, to be sure they are meeting that charge not only today but in years to come.
The Creator has put into natural products numerous qualities, such as the rich wholesome goodness of flavor and nutrition, that man has tried vainly to duplicate. Many of these imitation or substitute products cannot be readily identified by sight or taste. Because of mass production methods imitations are usually lower in price and many of the lower income groups must accept the substitute in lieu of the natural product, which by virtue of its source, is higher in price. These people go to the market and buy those substitutes and know full well they are imitation products.
There are millions of people, like myself, who doubt that man can fully duplicate the products of nature and want to buy those products, athough they cost more. They want the assurance that they get what they pay for. They want to know that it is a natural product, pure, unadulterated. They want to know that they are not paying for a natural product and getting one that is partially imitation.
Only by proper regulations governing the identity of these products can this be accomplished. These products must be so identified, that regardless of how, when, or where they are sold, the ultimate consumer will be guaranteed of getting the product for which they pay.
WESTERN JERSEY INTERIM COMMITTEE,
Tacoma, Wash., May 13, 1948. Hon. EUGENE D. MILLIKIN,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR MILLIKIN: The above committee, composed of western breeders representing their respective State Jersey cattle clubs, met in Portland, Oreg., April 30.
By motion passed unanimously, I was requested to write our western Senators urging them to protect the dairymen of their States against the repeal of the oleo tax.
Western dairymen hold the top four places in butterfat production per cow as shown in the records of the dairy heard improvement associations.
Dairying will do more to prevent soil erosion, retain soil fertility, and build up agriculture than any other farm commodity. It is an integral part of western reclamation.
History proves that dairying leads in the civilization of peoples. A study of the diets of contemporary nations bears this out.
Your attention is called to the Cudahy report and to the findings of the Armour Institute.
Your efforts in protecting the dairymen of the West will be greatly appreciated by all farmers in your State. Sincerely,
CLIFF FAIRFAX. Secretary.
WISCONSIN CO-OP. CREAMERY ASSOCIATION,
Cumberland, Wis., May 13, 1948. EUGENE D. MILLIKIN, Chairman, Senate Finance Committee,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. MILLIKIN: We appreciate very much the receiving of your telegram giving us the opportunity of expressing our views to your committee on the oleomargarine legislation.
I would like to express my argument against the repeal of the 10-cent tax on colored oleomargarine by stating my past experience and what may be expected if said tax is repealed.
For 16 years I worked as butter maker in some of the creameries in Wisconsin when the lands of Wisconsin were being grubbed of their stumps, changing from a lumbering business to a dairy State, now one of the largest, if not the largest dairy State in the United States. These were hard years for our dairy farmer, getting their farms cleared, building up their herds, and getting necessary buildings and equipment to produce a dairy product that has a reputation for quality throughout the United States. Do you, gentlemen of the committee, care to see -a product, such as oleomargarine, colored in the semblance of butter and put on the market to disrupt what has been accomplished in the many past years? This would result if the 10-cent tax on colored oleomargarine is repealed, the public being easily deceived by oleomargarine being sold as butter.
Following my 16 years of butter making. I was appointed as dairy and food inspector for the State of Wisconsin. My duty was inspecting stores, meat markets, creameries, cheese factories, milk plants, and dairy farms. At this time, a great deal of oleomargarine was being sold in the State of Wisconsin. Thus a great deal of our time was taken up seeing that the laws were obeyed. We found oleomargarine being sold for butter, we found oleomargarine under the counters, not properly placarded, colored yellow and sold as butter. Hotels,
restaurants, and lumber camps served oleomargarine without proper placards being displayed. At this time most of the oleomargarine was made from animal fats and it was much easier to detect as it had a tallowy consistency when melted in the mouth. With the fats used in oleomargarine at the present time, the oils are softer and more like butterfat. Therefore it would be much harder for the consumer to tell the difference.
During the past 25 years I have been employed as field man for the Wisconsin Co-operative Creamery Association, district No. 4, working on quality improvement and marketing the product out of the member creameries.
A few years ago Mr. Paul McNutt had the definition of oleomargarine changed, even though it was protested by millions of signers on petitions from our dairy States. That, gentlemen of the committee, was the foundation for what the oleomargarine manufacturers are asking for in the repeal of the tax on oleomargarine. In the changing of the definition of oleomargarine, the manufacturers were allowed to use vitamins and a starter concentrate to give it a flavor comparable to butter. Now they spread propaganda that it is as nutritious as butter. All this has been done to make oleomargarine as near to butter as possible. Now they ask for a repeal of taxes and to allow them to color their oleomargarine yelow. Another step to deceive the public, allowing them to fraudulently sell it as butter.
There are many spreads on the market and we dairymen have not fought with the manufacturers and we have no fight with the oleomargarine manufacturers for selling oleomargarine in any color other than yellow and we feel that the 10-cent tax on colored oleomargarine is only a protection to the consumer. There is no objection to it being sold in its natural color, white. With white oleomargarine, the consumer is only taxed 14 cent per pound and we have no objection to any other color than yellow in the manufacture of oleomargarine.
The oleomargarine interests tell the soybean and cotton growers that butter hurts their product and that the oils from their product goes into the manufacture of oleomargarine. This may be true, that some of their product oils are used, but they do not tell them that the dairy farmer is using the byproduct of cottonseed and soybean in concentrates in dairy feed that is of more value than the oils. This is all propaganda to get the cotton and soybean farmers on their side. Copra oil from the coconut is the main ingredient in the manufacture of oleomargarine. If the tax on oleomargarine is repealed it would spell ruin to the dairy industry and result in fraud and deception to the American consumer.
As to the color of butter, the natural color is yellow. In territories where the Jersey and Guernsey cattle predominate, fat at all times of the year is high yellow. For years we have not used any color in the manufacture of butter here,
Hoping your committeemen will see the great harm done to the dairy industry if the oleomargarine tax is repealed and give this legislation due consideration, I remain, Respectfully yours,
S. B. COOK.
WISCONSIN STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Madison 2, Wis., May 14, 1948. Hon. EUGENE D. MILLIKIN,
Chairman, Senate Finance Committee, United States Senate,
Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR : Many citizens who are interested in the welfare of the Nation have contacted Members of the Senate by mail, telephone, or telegraph requesting the opportunity to appear before your committee to discuss the results which would follow the removal of the Federal tax on colored oleomargarine. The scheduled hearing is drawing close and I have not been informed that such requests have been granted. May I, therefore, ask that this letter be made a part of the record of the committee hearing on the proposal?
To a large extent, the future economic welfare of our Nation is entrusted to you and your colleagues and I know that you are aware of that responsibility. This letter is written in an effort to be helpful to you in your deliberations. I shall try to focus attention on the fundamentals of the problem as it affects all of our citizens and to avoid separate agricultural considerations as such, as well as the superficial aspect on which the oleomargarine interests have placed so much emphasis.