While cannabis legalization dominated headlines for the past few days in Canada, other major developments quietly advanced.
As Canadians focused on marijuana, the first provisions of the new U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the trade deal negotiated between the Trudeau government and Trump administration, came into effect.
TL;DR A boycott is underway on American milk now for sale in Canadian grocery stores. Because dairy companies in the U.S. follow different regulations, their milk contains hormones that are illegal in Canada. Pus and high concentrations of white blood cells, both indicators of sick cows, have also been found in American milk.
The most visible of these provisions is the arrival of American milk to Canadian grocery shelves.
Canada's protectionist dairy supply management was a contentious issue for months before the Trudeau government agreed to soften restrictons on foreign dairy imports.
Canadian dairy farmers were not happy. The new regulation loosens their grip on the Canadian dairy market. Those Canadian suppliers must now compete with American competitors.
You may have seen public advertisements from domestic dairy producers pop up to encourage the consumption of local products.
But of even more concern, perhaps, is the difference in dairy standards between the United States and Canada.
American corporate farms use growth hormones that are illegal in Canada. Those hormones increase cows' milk production.
Studies show that American milk also contains pus particles and higher white blood cell counts. That's because unethical treatment causes American cows to become more frequently ill.
Canadians have taken to social media to express their discontent with the situation. Some have used the hashtag #BuyCanadian to boycott American dairy.
Hey @fairlife We Canucks are on to you!! We know that the milk you're pushing in your ads is AMERICAN milk and we're not buying it -- figuratively and literally. #LookforBlueCow #BuyCanadian https://t.co/NvXwENsHxE— Skipper (@Skipperdot001) October 17, 2018
American cheese is made from cheese with additives. Calling it cheese is like calling pudding milk.— Ian Hutchison (@Nilartus) October 18, 2018
Yes American milk is full of growth hormones and other chemicals.Canadian milk is free of chemicals and safe to drink.Look for the blue label on Canadian carton.— Morris Chaput (@ChaputMorris) October 13, 2018
I will never buy American milk, or anything else if I can help it. 🇨🇦— Lorrie fox (@lorrie_fox) October 13, 2018
Glad to see it is marked down! Hopefully they cant even give it away! It is our job as Canadians to make sure everybody is aware of this invasion! In a couple of weeks that crappy imported US milk will be on sale again... this time as buttermilk! #buycanadian https://t.co/zMSw5z0vg9— The Glenner (@Glenn_Cashman) October 18, 2018
Many asked for more information re: rBGH labelling. No one in authority tweeted me about it. Indirectly I heard that much non organic US milk may be full of it and we may not be able to tell. Nobody seems to know if it is bad for you but it is bad for the cattle. #buycanadian— Lucy Waverman (@lucywaverman) October 2, 2018
President Trump has taken a harder stance on Canadian milk than on Saudi murder. https://t.co/qdhm4OZ6Cp— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 16, 2018
You may have also seen Liberal MP Pierre Breton publicly spit out American milk in protest of its encroachment on the Canadian market:
This boycott is sure to escalate as more provisions from the USMCA come into effect.
Thankfully, however, that may not happen for a while. The U.S. Congress does not plan to ratify the agreement until next year.