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Dr Stephen Hagan who had Coon name scrapped now wants Pauls to rename Smarter White milk

An indigenous rights activist who succeeded in having the Coon cheese brand scrapped will now campaign for Pauls to rename its ‘Smarter White’ milk.

In July, Dr Stephen Hagan convinced Canadian dairy giant Saputo to axe an 85-year-old moniker, named after American cheese ripening pioneer Edward William Coon, because of its racist connotations.

The former diplomat and academic, who now works as a social justice consultant, has now called on Pauls’s French parent company Lactalis to replace the ‘Smarter White’ label, which has been used to sell low-fat milk since 2002. 

‘Aboriginal people are saying that there’s an inference that it’s for smart, white people, not for smart, black people,’ Dr Hagan told Daily Mail Australia.

‘There’s a lot of Aboriginal people who take offence, who don’t drink that milk because of the interference that it’s ‘smarter white’.’

Dr Hagan said ‘these enlightened times’ of the Black Lives Matter movement meant a name change was ‘worthy of consideration’.

The soy milk drinker said lots of Aboriginal people had raised the matter with him.

‘I recall having conversations with people who don’t buy that because of the connotation ‘white people are smart’,’ he said.

‘A lot of people have raised it with me: they asked the question about the Smarter White milk – ‘Why couldn’t it just be Smarter Milk? Why does it need to put the ‘white’ in there?’ 

‘If enough people want to bring it to my attention, I’m happy to write a letter to the owners of Pauls and say, ‘Look, will you consider changing the name?’.’ 

Pauls’s French owner Lactalis declined to comment.

‘Unfortunately we’re unable to make any further comment,’ a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.

Indigenous Alice Springs town councillor Jacinta Price described the call to rename Smarter White milk as ‘utter nonsense’.

‘I don’t know a single Indigenous Australian who is offended at all by milk being called ‘Smarter White’,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Indigenous Australian have far greater issues to be concerned with than the name of a brand of cheese named after its founder or what’s written on a carton of milk.’

Ms Price, who ran as a Country Liberal Party candidate at last year’s federal election, said affluent activists ‘whose lives are easy’ were inventing issues to feel like victims instead of addressing family violence and sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities.

‘I’d advise anyone who chooses to be offended by such a ridiculous proposition to assess their priorities,’ she said.

‘The victim mentality is unhealthy and completely unhelpful in attempting to address the real issues.’

New South Wales One Nation leader Mark Latham described the campaign as idiotic and pondered as to whether cows would have to be killed for producing white milk.

‘Kill all the cows for producing white milk? When he invents black milk he’ll be smarter too.’ 

Hours earlier, Mr Latham has posted an image of a popular Pauls diary product to take a dig at left-wing, cancel culture activists. 

‘Surprised the mob haven’t cancelled my favourite milk,’ he said on Facebook.

‘Evidence of the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of cancel culture where evil snowflakes randomly select their next victim.’ 

Mr Latham, a former federal Labor leader, isn’t the only critic of corporate political correctness.

Peter Russell-Clarke, a former ABC-TV chef who fronted Coon commercials during the early 1990s, last month slammed Saputo’s decision to kill off the cheese name that debuted in 1935 under Kraft and the Fred Walker food company.

 ‘I think it’s ridiculous,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Are we going to change the name of the raccoon, do you think?

‘Should we cut off the beaks of cockatoos to make sure the black beaks aren’t offensive to the white of the cockatoo?’

Russell-Clarke said Coon’s owners should be more concerned about maintaining the quality of their cheese than ditching an 85-year-old name to ‘suit the whim of the time’.

The 84-year-old former host of ABC-TV’s 1980s Come and Get It program has a grandson of African heritage and said ditching the Coon cheese brand would do nothing to address racism.

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