Cornucopia’s Take: Cornucopia filed its first complaint against organic dairy operator Aurora in 2005 for its factory farm confinement practices. At first the USDA refused to investigate. But when it did, it found 14 “willful violations” of organic law, with its enforcement agents recommending revocation of its organic status. Aurora cut a deal with USDA political appointees to stay in business. We have since filed additional complaints that have gone uninvestigated.
Now the Washington Post verifies many of our concerns with its own independent investigation. If true, Aurora is cheating consumers and unfairly taking markets away from ethical family farmers. Check Cornucopia’s dairy scorecard for how to find the best organic dairy brands in your grocery store and reward true hero farmers.
Why your ‘organic’ milk may not be organic
The Washington Post
by Peter Whoriskey
The High Plains dairy complex reflects the new scale of the U.S. organic industry: It is big.
Stretching across miles of pastures and feedlots north of Greeley, Colo., the complex is home to more than 15,000 cows, making it more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of Aurora Organic Dairy, a company that produces enough milk to supply the house brands of Walmart, Costco and other major retailers.
“We take great pride in our commitment to organic, and in our ability to meet the rigorous criteria of the USDA organic regulations,” Aurora advertises.
But a closer look at Aurora and other large operations highlights critical weaknesses in the unorthodox inspection system that the Agriculture Department uses to ensure that “organic” food is really organic.
Read the entire story at The Washington Post.