Last year, the Washington Post exposed flaws in the U.S. organic dairy market, calling into question just how “organic” the milk sold by big producers, such as Aurora Dairy, really is.
A follow-up report by the Post, on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) dubious investigation into Aurora Dairy, didn’t do much to inspire consumer confidence in the USDA Organic seal on cartons of Aurora milk, or on other brands from similarly large operations.
The situation hasn't much improved, at least not according to a newly updated report from the Cornucopia Institute. “The Industrialization of Organic Dairy” highlights the ongoing problems inside the "Big Organic" dairy industry:
These industrial-organic dairies and the businesses marketing their milk skirt organic regulations, harm the environment, compromise the nutritional content of organic dairy products, and sacrifice the health and well-being of livestock. They also undermine the organic market, making it difficult for ethical family-scale organic farmers to get a fair price for their milk and maintain their livelihoods.
What can consumers who want real organic milk do?
Avoid store-brand organic milk, which is often supplied by big dairies like Aurora. Instead, seek out the brands with strong ratings from Cornucopia, or research local organic dairies that may not (yet) be listed on the scorecard.