A class action lawsuit against the country’s largest dairy producers has been settled for $52 million after the National Milk Producers Federation was found to have been engaging in an illegal price-fixing conspiracy. The operation forced small dairy farms to kill off entire herds of cows in order to reduce the national milk supply and inflate prices of dairy products. By running the “dairy herd retirement program,” the National Milk Producers Federation has been responsible for the deaths of 500,000 cows and has cost consumers in 15 states and the District of Columbia millions of dollars. “The biggest dairy producers in the country, responsible for almost 70 percent of the nation’s milk, conspired together in a classic price-fixing scheme, forcing higher prices for a basic food item onto honest consumers and families,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman law firm. Animal protection organization Compassion Over Killing conducted initial research for the case filed in 2011, and says it is “pleased to see some justice for the half-million cows who were prematurely slaughtered, and the consumers who paid artificially high prices, all done merely to satisfy the dairy industry’s greed.”
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