The Association of Food Journalists named the finalists in its prestigious AFJ Awards
yesterday and City Pages was among the honored.
City Pages writers Andy Mannix and Mike Mullen are finalists for "Best Story on Food Policy or Food Issues" for their cover story, "Milk Money
"Milk Money" tells the story of how Cooperatives Working Together -- a consortium of the top dairy companies, including Land O' Lakes -- carried out a practice known as "herd retirement" to slaughter half a million cows in order to drive up prices.
As Mannix and Mullen wrote:
It was a booming success. An independent analysis projects the dairy industry profited $11.7 billion off herd retirement. But critics point to the tremendous waste.
"I think that's the overriding reaction that I sensed: What are they doing?" says Jerry Dryer, one of the premier dairy market analysts in the country, of the program's critics. "Why aren't we marketing this product? There are hungry people here, there are hungry people overseas. Why are we restricting production?"
Last fall, the dairy consortium was served with a civil lawsuit alleging that herd retirement violates anti-trust laws. According to the suit, Land O'Lakes and other members of the co-op colluded in an illegal price-fixing scheme that cheated American consumers out of billions of dollars.