Animal liberation activists protest at Baldwin town hall meeting

The Wisconsin Gazette

Activists with the animal liberation network Direct Action Everywhere staged a demonstration during U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s town hall meeting March 12 at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

The activists were protesting the Democratic senator’s Dairy Pride Act to fight back “against non-dairy products that are mislabeled as milk, yogurt and cheese.”

A news release from Baldwin’s office in January said the Dairy Pride Act “stands up for Wisconsin dairy farmers by combating the unfair practice of mislabeling non-dairy products. Current Food and Drug Administration regulations define dairy products as being from dairy animals. Although existing federal regulation are clear, the FDA has not enforced these labeling regulations and the mislabeling of products has increased rapidly. This hurts dairy farmers who work tirelessly to ensure their Made in Wisconsin dairy products meet FDA standards and provide the public with nutritious food. It has also led to the proliferation of mislabeled alternative products that contain a range of ingredients and nutrients that are often not equivalent to the nutrition content of dairy products.”

Baldwin says the Dairy Pride Act would require the FDA to issue guidance for nationwide enforcement of “mislabeled imitation dairy products within 90 days and require the FDA to report to Congress two years after enactment to hold the agency accountable for this update in their enforcement obligations.”

The protesters expressed concern the measure pits dairy against alternatives such as soy and almond milk and “therefore contributes to systematic violence against cows exploited for milk.”

The protesters said the legislation could confuse consumers about the nutritional value of alternatives, as well as  perpetuate the injury animals suffer in large farms and the damages factory farms and dairies cause in Wisconsin watersheds.

“The level of water contamination is highly detrimental to families and community members residing in the Kewaunee area,” said activist Guy Leffel. “When highly contaminated water with manure fills their bathtubs and flows out of their faucets which intend to provide them with clean drinking water, clearly we have a huge health problem.”

“The protest is a part of a growing international movement seeking to create a growing political haven for non-human animals, including bans on products of violence against animals and legal personhood for all animals,” according to a news release.

On the web

For information about the animal liberation activists, including their action set for March 18, go online here.