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Consumer Coops Start to Boycott Horizon Organic Products for Violating Organic Standards

Press Release:  May 5, 2006  

Contact:
Boulder Co-op
303.447.2667

BOULDER CO-OP MARKET BOYCOTTS HORIZON DAIRY PRODUCTS NPR to Provide National Coverage

Boulder, Colo. to join other co-ops across the country in boycotting Horizon dairy products. The market's concern is that Horizon the nation's largest milk bottler under the National Organic Standards Regulations. The Co-op is specifically concerned with regulations governing livestock pasture, feed and confinement.

While reporting on the growing criticism of Horizon across the United States, National Public Radio interviewed members of Boulder Co-op's staff and Board of Directors yesterday as they physically removed Horizon products from store shelves.

Amy Wyatt, Assistant General Manager for the Co-op, sees a Horizon boycott as the right thing to do for Boulder's only community-owned vegetarian grocery. "We are entrusted by our members to make the best choices for products in the store that fit into our by-laws," said Wyatt. "Based on our concerns regarding Horizon's practices, we didn't feel that continuing to carry this company's products was consistent with our mission and values."

Last year, The Cornucopia Institute of Wisconsin, a progressive farm policy research group, filed formal complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Compliance, asking that it investigate what are believed to be violations of the law, particularly sections §205.237, §205.238 and §205.239 of the National Organic Standards Regulations.

The complaints ask the USDA to investigate whether it is legal to confine cows in an industrial setting, without access to pasture, and still label milk and dairy products as organic. According to Mark Kastel, Cornucopia's Senior Farm Policy Analyst, "Real organic farms have made great financial investments in converting to pasture-based production, enhancing the nutritional properties of the milk and enhancing animal health, ­while it appears that these large corporate-dominated enterprises are happy just to pay lip service to required organic ethics."

Boulder Co-op Market is urging all other merchants who cater to organic consumers locally Cottage