China Denies Licenses to 45% of Dairies

Reeling from various food safety scandals, China is withholding production licenses from about 45 percent of its dairies, and is thereby forbidding these companies from selling their milk products.

This is such a gigantic clusterfuck that I hardly know what to make of it. China’s got more than 12 million dairy cows. I’d assume this news means that millions of these cows are at dairies that are not allowed to sell milk.

The trouble is that you can’t just put a dairy cow on a shelf while you wait for your new license to get approved. These animals still have to be fed and milked, but now none of this milk can be sold. It’s undoubtedly true that, without revenue, some of these dairies will not have the money to feed their cows.

It makes me wonder if this is really about food safety at all, or whether it’s really just a scheme to eradicate competition from China’s dairy industry, and put milk production into a few favored hands. (Thanks, Derek.) Link.