Schumer to Russia: Our Greek-yogurt shipments to U.S. athletes will not be denied!

posted at 3:21 pm on February 7, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has had a long and fruitful career in securing plenty of cozy little government contracts, grants, and earmarks for the several yogurt companies and the dairy industry in New York, the largest in the country behind only California and Wisconsin. He’s already been working on winning an expansion of a federal school-lunch contract on behalf of Chobani under the banner of “for the children!” martyrdom, and this week, his yogurt-kickbacking found yet another rallying cry: “For the athletes!”

The Russian government is refusing to allow New York-made yogurt to be shipped to the Winter Olympics, and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York wants to end the impasse.The yogurt, intended for consumption by members of the U.S. Olympic team and the media, is made by Chobani, an official sponsor of the U.S. Winter Olympic and Paralympics teams. Chobani says 5,000 single-serve cups and multiserve containers await shipment in a temperature-controlled facility. …

“I understand the need for high food safety standards for dairy products,’’ Schumer wrote in a letter to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, and Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee. “However, the U.S. government has confirmed that sanitary standards have been met to ensure that this yogurt will be safe for consumption by American citizens attending and participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics.” …

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has asked the Russian government to approve a USDA sanitary certificate for the Chobani yogurt with an assurance the yogurt would be consumed only by U.S. citizens.

Look. I understand that Russia is happy to thumb its nose at us whenever they can on even the silliest things, and that taking on some foreign-policy-ish tasks on behalf of your home-state interests is not a crime — but this would all be a little more laudable if A) Schumber was willing to stand up for removing trade barriers when it came to more than just yogurt, and B) Schumer weren’t so heavily involved in securing every type of regulatory and federal advantage for the dairy companies in his pocket.

— Schumer, who was the chairman of the 2013 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, chose Fage yogurt, also produced in N.Y., to be served backstage at the Inaugural Ceremony for President Barack Obama last year.

— He recently pushed the Department of Agriculture to expand its less-than one-year-old contract with Chobani for a Greek yogurt program in schools. Chobani already has supplied more than 200,000 pounds of its products to schools in four states.

— In 2012, Schumer helped secure about $2.6 million in grants for two other yogurt plants in Batavia, N.Y.

And I don’t even want to think about the massive farm bill the just passed, ugh.

The Farm Bill the House passed Wednesday will help New York dairy farms, fruit and vegetable growers and maple producers, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says. …

The Farm Bill also strengthens Rural Development grant and loan programs, such as the value-added producers grant program, which helps dairy farmers that start producing artisanal cheese or apple growers that enter the hard cider industry.

I know it all seems like pretty small beans in the grand scheme of things, but it’s just another part of the special-interest-serving culture of cronyism that our hugely metastasized federal government makes possible. (See what I did there?)


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Won’t that stuff be spoiling soon?

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 3:29 PM

The ludicrous before the storm. Pissant-for-brain Schumer screaming about yogurt while the culture of death is planning a sequel to the 1972 Olympics.

NotCoach on February 7, 2014 at 3:30 PM

There’s nothing special about Chobani. They could go to a Russian grocery store and buy yogurt that would be no worse.

slickwillie2001 on February 7, 2014 at 3:30 PM

I am gravely embarrassed on a daily basis by the clueless clowns in Congress.

natasha333 on February 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

All your probiotic are belong to us.

Brat on February 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

There is so something special about Chobani–it’s fantastic! I buy it by the case.

vityas on February 7, 2014 at 3:32 PM

It wouldn’t be the Olympics be without Greek yogurt!

KS Rex on February 7, 2014 at 3:33 PM

You can shove you Chobani up your commieass, Schumer.
The democrats can always be counted on to support the ignorant and properly unimportant.

HillC Liver Spot on February 7, 2014 at 3:34 PM

First world problems.

It’s good that the economy is running efficiently, employment at 100%, no ME issues, crime is nonexistent, etc, etc., so that Schumer can prioritize this issue.

On second thought, maybe this is a good thing that he’s focused on this.

Nevermind.

kim roy on February 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Yogurt is apparently going to save the Empire State from swirling the bowl. It’s all our idiot governor ever talks about. He even hosted a “yogurt summit” last year, whatever the heck that means.

And it’s basically all because Chobani and Fage are headquartered in upstate New York. $20 bucks says that won’t still be true in 2020 despite these putzes trying to bend over backward for them.

Red Cloud on February 7, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Won’t that stuff be spoiling soon?

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Isn’t it already spoiled? I thought that was the whole point of yogurt.

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Chobani, now with government meddling mixed right in.

Even Russia knows when a culture has been corrupted. Of course that other yogurt company didn’t stand a chance since everyone knows Russia is intolerant towards Fage(s).

StubbornGreenBurros on February 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I bet Chuckie got Beat up in school….quite a bit.

ToddPA on February 7, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Is it ghey yogurt?

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

I can’t find much on political activism by Chobani. $367 in total donations from the company and employees. Unless they are giving Schumer money under the table, which I wouldn’t be surprised to see, it appears his support for them is purely being a voice for a NY based business. Just ordinary cronyism with promoting local business to influence support within the state. I don’t know of any Senators who would not like to support business in their states with Federal dollars. It has a huge economic impact. Whether it is right or wrong is another story entirely. I don’t think NY voters will have an issue with Schumer standing up for a NY business.

airupthere on February 7, 2014 at 3:46 PM

There’s nothing special about Chobani. They could go to a Russian grocery store and buy yogurt that would be no worse.

slickwillie2001 on February 7, 2014 at 3:30 PM

The Russian brand contains bits of stray dog.

HillC Liver Spot on February 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Chobani apparently is sponsoring 6 athletes. If we are good enough to use their money to fund travel and expenses for our athletes, said athletes ought to be able to eat their product.

airupthere on February 7, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Isn’t it already spoiled? I thought that was the whole point of yogurt.

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Yep. Like with sour cream, I never understood a ‘use-by’ date for yogurt.

slickwillie2001 on February 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

This is not the first time this loser was barking about yogurt. Big donor getting their payback?

Lost in Jersey on February 7, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Aside from Schmuckie, cronyism, lobbying, etc., the story of Chobani is interesting.

At Chobani, the Turkish King of Greek Yogurt

Brat on February 7, 2014 at 4:02 PM

This is the same idiot that said taxpayers don’t care about government spending a million $ here and a million $ there….He’s in the top 5 of the most corrupt in Washington. One of the many reasons why we are 17 Trillion in debt.

Indianatime on February 7, 2014 at 4:03 PM

This moron is worried about U.S. athletes NOT getting their yogurt, when this country is going down to the 10th level of hell? smh.

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 4:03 PM

correction – when his party is making sure that this country goes down to the 10th level of hell.

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 4:05 PM

No no no, not Chobani! Darn it and I liked them so much as well.

That said there is much over the yogurt craze I do not get. I just want my Gogurt back :(

OregonPolitician on February 7, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Won’t that stuff be spoiling soon?

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 3:29 PM

It’s pre-spoiled.

Midas on February 7, 2014 at 4:19 PM

This moron is worried about U.S. athletes NOT getting their yogurt, when this country is going down to the 10th level of hell? smh.

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Not just ‘not getting their yogurt’, but ‘not getting the yogurt that Schumer gets kickbacks on for making sure lots of government money is sent Chobani’s way because of yogurt mandates that only they can supply’, etc.

Midas on February 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood have spoken out against Schumer’s probiotic advocacy – they fear it has the potential of undermining Roe v. Wade.

pwrefugee on February 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM

The Russian brand contains bits of stray dog.

HillC Liver Spot on February 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Extra protein!

Midas on February 7, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I’m not naive, so I undertsand the political implications here and that Putin would do anything he can to make the US look bad. But with Chobani, Putin can at least argue he is doing this legitimately. Many many products are deemed “safe” for consumption in the US that other countries do not permit. The issue with Chobani is that the cows are fed grains with GMOs.

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/chobani-vs-whole-foods-over-gmos-101380.html

According to this article, Russia is one of twenty-six countries that has a GMO ban:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/176863/twenty-six-countries-ban-gmos-why-wont-us#

This whole issue on GMO also goes back to a previous post at Hotair involving Putin making some comment to Obama about the US being responsible for the killing off of the bees. Again, I realize Russia is not our friend. I’m just pointing out what is likely the excuse they are using for keeping Chobani out of Russia.

And, if you read Schumer’s statement carefully, you can see that the GMO issue is PRECISELY the excuse being used. Schumer wants Russia to accept the United States’s assertion that this yogurt is sanitary, rather than use Russia’s standards, and Schumer asserts that the yogurt will only be consumed by US athletes. In other words, Russia is telling the US, “we won’t let your yogurt in because it doesn’t meet our country’s safety standards” and Schumer is telling Russia, “who cares if you think it is dangerous, we still want to give it to our athletes.” (Don’t know if you caught the Chobani super bowl commercial, but it is trying to fix its image after the issue with Whole Foods and assure everyone that it really does use quality products). Here, Chobani basically saw a big advertising opportunity by being a sponsor of the US Olympic team. In return it has another headache regarding the sourcing of its milk used for its yogurt. I realize that Chobani is not the only yogurt to source from GMO fed cows, but as the major US manufacturer, Chobani, fairly or unfairly, gets the most scrutiny.

Full Disclosure: I do not eat Chobani due to the GMO issue.

Conservative in NOVA on February 7, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Aside from Schmuckie, cronyism, lobbying, etc., the story of Chobani is interesting.

At Chobani, the Turkish King of Greek Yogurt

Brat on February 7, 2014 at 4:02 PM

From your article: “The yogurt that most Americans ate for decades was a travesty, in his view: too thin, too sweet, too fake.”

To avoid actually putting the word ‘sugar’ on Chobani’s list of contents, they call it ‘evaporated cane juice’.

It’s designed for the low-information consumer.

slickwillie2001 on February 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Go screw yourself Chuck.

TX-96 on February 7, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Is it ghey yogurt?

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Yes…yes it is. Very ghey. Cho (Greek for “Chew”) and bani (Greek for “The Bone”). Discrete gheys identify each other by keeping a container of Chobani in their left rear pocket.

Mimzey on February 7, 2014 at 4:35 PM

For reasons I can’t explain, I wanna make a video of myself shooting Chobani yogurt cups with an AK-47 and send it to Chuckie… I bet it looks like little white fireworks when they are hit with a 7.62… Maybe even some slo-mo…

See how pretty, Chuck…? Nobody needs 30 bullets to kill a deer, but you do if you are taking out a case of yogurt…

PointnClick on February 7, 2014 at 4:43 PM

All your probiotic are belong to us.

Brat on February 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Interesting point. I wonder if Bloomberg isn’t all about candida, a systemic and parasitic organism reported to affect 70%-80% of all Americans, due in great part to the anti-heart attack propaganda in the 50′s when low-fat diet propaganda led to the Big Food Conglomerates turning to processed sugar to make their foods profitable (to the tune of billions)

And yes, there are dozens of ways to disguise sugar, including “evaporated cane juice” (that’s a new one, LOL)

He is all pro-yogurt and anti-sugar. Hmm. If he is concerned about the candida epidemic, he should have used his bully pulpit to spread the word about candida (not just for female yeast infections, folks) and its links to all sorts of symptoms ranging from chronic low energy, irritability, bowel disorders, fungal skin icks of all description, and yes, obesity.

Disclaimer: I have been researching probiotics recently, and our household is going to be changing a few habits as a result.

I am certainly pro-yogurt.

Although not the Chobani brand. Their labels hurt my artist’s eyes and cause an itch in my right armpit.

RushBaby on February 7, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Is it ghey yogurt?

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Turkish. He bought an abandoned Borden’s factory in New Berlin.

vityas on February 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

The Russian brand contains bits of stray dog.
HillC Liver Spot on February 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM

KIBBLES’N’BITS! KIBBLES’N’BITS! KIBBLES’N’BITS!

Marcola on February 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Anyone who sticks their thumb in Schumer’s eye is okay in my book.

307wolverine on February 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has had a long and fruitful career in securing plenty of cozy little government contracts, grants, and earmarks for the several yogurt companies and the dairy industry in New York,

YEAH THOSE REPUBLICANS ARE ALL SUCH CORPORATE SHILLS!

Wait, what?

Marcola on February 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

slickwillie2001 on February 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

I’ve been noticing the use of ‘evaporated cane juice’ on a lot of “health food” ingredients. That’s why I buy plain yogurt, usually Fage, and add my own fruit, nuts and granola.
I posted the article just because I admire how the company started up from nothing.

But *sigh* they seem to have become part of “Big Food” as RushBaby points out.

Brat on February 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Mimzey on February 7, 2014 at 4:35 PM

ROFL!

brtex on February 7, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Pssst, Chuckles, there are a whole bunch of tv cameras in Sochi, a lot of them are televising Putin. (I figure one or the other would go, don’t care which.)

rbj on February 7, 2014 at 5:07 PM

so now we SHOULD have the right to tell other countries how to run their government?

dmacleo on February 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

@dmacleo – If other countries can tell us what to do, then we should be able to do the same thing. Turnabout is fair play.

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Just an aside – chobani jumped on the “lets-shrink-the-size-of-the-containers-by-15%-and-not-lower-the-price-and-maybe-nobody-will-notice” bandwagon recently. But people noticed.

tru2tx on February 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

I don’t understand why anybody eats yogurt. It’s just spoiled milk and you have to put a ton of sugar in it to make it edible. The yogurt industry has done an excellent job of convincing people that this stuff is good for them.

(Don’t tell anybody I said this. The biggest yogurt factory in the world is in the little village down the road. At least that’s what I’ve been told.)

crankyoldlady on February 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Yogurt for the athletes. Money for vets-not so much.

davidk on February 7, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Schumer is the ultimate slimy lizard.

ultracon on February 7, 2014 at 6:01 PM

I don’t understand why anybody eats yogurt. It’s just spoiled milk and you have to put a ton of sugar in it ..[yak yak]
crankyoldlady on February 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

{Dude}

/google

RushBaby on February 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM

“Don’t make a fuss,I’m just plain Yogurt”

SweetSensationalist on February 7, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Schumer is lucky that stupidity is not against the law.

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

If we are talking about Chobani Flip yogurt, then I get the importance.

Particular Set of Skills on February 7, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Ick!

OldEnglish on February 7, 2014 at 7:29 PM

This guy is such a clown. I’m surprised he isn’t a serial killer, too.

brentspolemics on February 7, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Where is that troll Pickle? I bet he’ll be outraged that Schumer is focused on something so trivial as this!

OrdinaryAverageGuy on February 7, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Schumer is lucky that stupidity is not against the law.

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Schumer is lucky New York City requires, by law, the eating of Greek yogurt.

brentspolemics on February 7, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Chuck Schumer —- ambassador of Culture.

E.Normus.Balzac on February 7, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Yogurt…. really…… Yogurt…… I’d expect more from one of the hundred most powerful in gubRmint…. then again it is Chuckie and even yogurt may be too much mental stretch for him.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on February 7, 2014 at 9:40 PM

hilarious how five different agencies have to approve my right to eat some damn yoghurt.

lodge on February 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Upchuck Schumer needs to remember that the only people that listen to him are brain dead Democrats and RINO’s. I don’t think he has any pull with Putin.

savage24 on February 9, 2014 at 4:09 PM