This morning brings news from my friend Orangeclouds115:
I received the following information directly from The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based watchdog group I highly respect.
[Yesterday] at 7:20 p.m. EST, August 29, the USDA issued an emergency news release announcing that they had sent a Letter of Revocation to the Aurora Organic Dairy. In lieu of revoking Aurora’s organic certification, the Agency has instead entered into a consent agreement requiring the nation’s largest certified organic dairy to make substantial and wide-ranging changes to the livestock management practices at their operations in Texas and Colorado.
In other words, Aurora, which supplies private label milk to stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway, got caught bending and breaking the rules of USDA organic standards. If they don’t make the necessary changes they just agreed to with the USDA, their certification will be yanked.
The complaint against Aurora includes:
* Aurora was not allowing their animals access to pasture
* Aurora brought in animals from a non-certified contract heifer ranch
* Aurora converted animals from conventional to organic production when the regulations (because of their initial 80/20 conversion) prohibited that.
* And Aurora purchased organic feed for their Texas operation from a friend of the dairy manager who had sprayed his crops with herbicides during transition.
While you might say that Aurora still has time to fix itself, as long as the rules are enforced well, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Organic products are not meant to be produced at the scale needed to supply a chain as large as Wal-Mart (let alone all those other grocers). Always Low Prices and the principles behind organic food are like oil and water.