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USDA Closes Investigation Into a Massive Organic Farm in Colorado — But What Did It Check?

We couldn’t say it better than the headline from the Denver Post when they ran the story (below) that first appeared in The Washington Post. Cornucopia has filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and will report to the organic community on our findings.

The closure of the case was blasted by the watchdog group that filed the official complaint who have long criticized the USDA for lax enforcement of organic standards.

USDA closes investigation into a massive organic farm in Colorado — but what did it check?

The USDA has closed an investigation into Aurora Organic Dairy, a Colorado-based mega-dairy highlighted in a Washington Post story earlier this year, finding no violations of organic standards this year.

The agency did not say whether it looked into the potential violations The Post had uncovered last year, however, saying only that it is currently operating in compliance with organic rules.

“We determined that Aurora’s livestock and pasture management practices comply with existing USDA organic regulations and NOP policies,” Betsy Rakola, the director of enforcement for the National Organic Program at USDA wrote in a letter to Aurora. “Therefore, the case is hereby closed.”

The closure of the case was blasted by the watchdog group that filed the official complaint who have long criticized the USDA for lax enforcement of organic standards. The extent of the USDA investigation is not known other than that it included a visit to the farm and a review of some records.

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