Panel Votes to Stop Giving Special Milk to Needy Countries
The Senate Agriculture Committee, helping a freshman Republican fulfill a campaign pledge, voted 9 to 8 today to phase out an obscure program to donate specially treated milk to needy foreign countries.
The panel axed the program on the motion of freshman Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who called it a misguided bail-out for a single milk cooperative that makes the product, known as “ultra-high-temperature” or UHT milk.
Congress created a two-year $50-million pilot program in 1983 to give away 40,000 metric tons of the milk, which does not need refrigeration, to less developed countries for use as a dietary supplement for the undernourished.
The program had been added to a dairy bill at the urging of former Sen. Walter D. Huddleston (D-Ky.), whom McConnell defeated in a tight race last year. Huddleston enjoyed heavy dairy industry financial support in that election, while McConnell received few dairy contributions.