The Tillamook County Creamery Association's membership voted 83-43 to back up the Board's previous decision to go rBGH-free, effective April 1, 2005 (No kidding!). |
After a two-hour discussion, the co-op's members decided to listen to their consumers' wishes rather than Monsanto.
In an incredible display of consumer activism and strength, over 6,500 people commented to Tillamook by phone, e-mail, fax and letter. Over 98% of the comments stressed the desire for the dairy to go rBGH-free! If ever there was a demonstration that this genetically engineered hormone has nothing to offer but increased disease rates in cows and health risks to consumers, this was it.
We really want to thank all of you who responded to Oregon PSR's requests to contact Tillamook. And a double thanks to everyone who sent our alert memo's to others and asked them to do the same. Never in our wildest dreams did we think the ripple effect would go so far.
The "Almost?" Anyone who supplies fluid milk to Tillamook has signed an agreement to be rBGH-free by April 1. This includes their outside suppliers, such as Three Mile Canyon in Boardman, Oregon. Most of Tillamook's product is cheese that will come from this rBGH-free milk.
However, their suppliers of butter, yogurt, sour cream and cream and powder for ice cream don't yet have such agreements. I've heard they are working on this, but don't know the details or timeline yet.
More information is coming, but for right now, my heartfelt thanks go to:
It's funny, but regarding what Oregon PSR will do now, it really didn't make any difference which way Tillamook voted. We'll just keep developing our grass roots efforts and continue to educate the public so they can make well-informed decisions about buying dairy products. In many ways, we're just getting started.
- Tillamook's board, management and farmers
- Oregon PSR's staff, board and volunteers
- All the supporting organizations who posted action alerts on their websites or forwarded our e-mail alerts to their members
- All the organizations who have formally endorsed the rBGH-Free Oregon Campaign
- All the advisors from all over the country and Canada who have fielded my constant requests for information over the past two years - what a team effort this has been
- Everyone who sent a comment to Tillamook - all 6,500+ of you!
- Vince Patton at KGW TV for breaking the story (story at 6:00 p.m. tonight)
- My wife for putting up with me the last month (OK, months)
Rick North - Oregon Physicains for Social Responsibility