Rulemaking Could Institutionalize Conventional Livestock on Organic Farms
many thousands of cows (producing private label
milk for Walmart, Costco, Target and others)
Advocates for organic food and farming are encouraging industry stakeholders to send comments to the USDA, by July 27, rejecting a proposal that would facilitate conventional dairy cows, pigs, and other stock being brought onto farms after the dairies or other livestock facilities initially gained certified organic status. The department’s National Organic Program has been accused of facilitating the expansion of “factory farms” producing organic milk, meat and eggs through the agency’s lax enforcement of existing regulations, and experts say the new rules could continue that trend.
The proposed draft rule is intended to discontinue a practice that many in the organic dairy industry have long claimed is illegal. Giant factory farms, many milking thousands of cows each, have been buying one-year-old replacement animals and “converting” them to organic on an ongoing basis.
“This routine makes a mockery of the holistic approach to organic livestock agriculture that the law is designed to promote,” said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. Read Full Article »