The continued high prices for dairy commodities has led to a lot of anxiety among the consumer media, politicians and ice cream makers.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was sounding alarms last month about how the expected increase in retail milk prices could be worsened if a major player acquires the U.S. holdings of the bankrupt Parmalat empire. Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports from its Washington bureau that high butterfat prices will conspire with lingering shortages of vanilla and cocoa to drive up ice cream prices. "This is going to be a very expensive ice cream season," said Lynda Utterback, executive director of the National Ice Cream Retailers Assn.

Numerous local newspaper stories were published in April warning consumers that milk prices may jump by as much as 50 cents per gallon.