You could get money back if you bought milk

Thousands of milk buyers may be eligible for some extra dough following an alleged conspiracy in which milk producers drove up the price of milk by prematurely killing half a million cows. By Sean Rossman.
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People living in certain states who bought milk or milk products from 2003 to now may be eligible for a piece of the $52 million settlement, which also extends to those who bought cream, half and half, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream.
The amount people will get depends on how many people stake a claim in the settlement.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), its subsidiary Cooperatives Working Together (CWT), and other milk producers agreed to a class action settlement in August. The $52-million settlement stemmed from a 2011 lawsuit brought by San Francisco milk purchaser Matthew Edwards and others.
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The lawsuit claimed CWT, a collection of milk producers amounting to 70% of the United States’ milk supply, paid its members to slaughter their entire herds, including those too young to produce milk, through an effort called the «herd retirement program.» The purpose of the program, the complaint said, was to «reduce the supply of milk, eliminate competition and significantly reduce the number of dairy farmers competing in the market in order to increase the price of raw farm milk.»
The defendants have «vigorously denied and continue to deny» the allegations, the settlement said.
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The program, the lawsuit alleged, drove up the price of milk and profits.
Dr. Scott Brown of the University of Missouri, said the program, which lasted from 2003 to 2010, led to the slaughter of 500,000 cows and decreased the nation’s milk supply by about 10 billion pounds or about 1.2 billion gallons of milk. It also more than doubled the price of raw milk from 2007 to 2010 and increased milk price revenues by nearly $10 billion.
The lawsuit claimed a violation of state antitrust statutes. The defendants said they agreed to the settlement to «avoid further expense, inconvenience and the uncertainties and business disruption and burden of continued litigation» among other issues.
Steve Berman, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, called the program a «classic price-fixing scheme.»
«We’re pleased that this settlement will return some of what consumers lost due to this massive fraud perpetrated for ill-gotten gains,» Berman said.
NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said the settlement was the most «sensible and responsible course of action to maintain the current CWT Export Assistance program and allow us to focus on the future.»
Mulhern said the herd retirement program has ended and the court didn’t find an antitrust violation.
“The CWT Program is poised for a quick rebound and a strong future,» he said. «We will continue to focus on CWT’s present mission of providing member cooperatives with export assistance, creating new export market opportunities and continuing to look for innovative ways to increase sales of milk and dairy products for participating cooperatives.”
People can file a claim online by Jan. 31 by visiting The settlement applies to those who bought milk or milk products while living in Washington, D.C. or the following states: Arizona, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Source: USAToday

Mirá También

Así lo expresó Domingo Possetto, secretario de la seccional Rafaela, quien además, afirmó que a los productores «habitualmente los ignoran los gobiernos». Además, reconoció la labor de los empresarios de las firmas locales y aseguró que están «esperanzados» con la negociación entre SanCor y Adecoagro.

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