PETITION TO THE NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD TO STOP FACTORY
that organic agriculture is a $15 billion industry and growing,
it is squarely in the crosshairs of multinational corporations.
Major food manufacturers are entering organic production, cutting
corners, inflating prices, and endangering the integrity of organic
agriculture (factory farms, nonorganic inputs, and imported ingredients
with questionable certification).
large corporations, along with a complacent USDA, have become
masters at creating loopholes for corporate organic farming, such
vegetables or feed grains from Third World countries without
USDA site certification visits.
chickens without access to the outdoors.
unapproved preservatives in products.
replacement dairy heifers shot-up with antibiotics and from
a factory farm with 70,000 chickens or 5000 cows.
"Organic" Factory Farms?
years of inaction, the USDA's National Organic Program has recently
been forced to address a number of large, industrial dairy farms-without
adequate pasture that are producing "organic" milk.
These factory farms range in size from approximately 3,000 to
4,000 cows and are basically confinement feedlots without legitimate
access to pasture for feed and exercise, as required by the federal
organic regulations. Milk from most of these mega-farms is being
distributed by Dean/Horizon, the largest milk bottler in the United
States, and under a number of private-label brands that are available
at natural food and conventional grocers.
corporate farms and their wealthy investors are jeopardizing the
livelihoods of organic family-scale dairy farmers throughout the
United States, along with the more modest-sized companies and
cooperatives that market their milk.
Institute, a Wisconsin-based advocacy group that supports
family farmers, filed formal complaints against three of these
farms operating in Idaho, California, and Colorado. This issue
will come to a head at the semiannual meeting of the National
Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Washington, D.C., March 1-3.
and consumers will make their voice heard at this meeting. Many
farmers in the Northeast, and others as far away as California,
will be coming to testify in support of enacting strong rules
requiring access to pasture for dairy cows, sheep, goats, and
beef cattle. They will also call for enforcement of the requirement
for access to the outdoors for other species such as poultry.
Your Voice Heard
1. Please share this action alert with your circle of friends
E-mail, fax, or mail a letter to the USDA. If you email all your
comments to The Cornucopia Institute by February 28, we will hand
carry your message and deliver it formally at the Washington,
D.C., NOSB meeting.
Please consider coming to the meeting in person. This is especially
important if you are an organic livestock producer. For meeting
information, directions, and accommodation options contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an organic livestock producer or processor and cannot
make it to the meeting, we will do our best to partner you with
another farmer/rancher or a consumer from the Washington area
who will read your three-minute written testimony. Again, please
contact The Cornucopia Institute, preferably via e-mail,
for full instructions on preparing your (proxy) testimony.
Have the Power
Whether it is livestock raised in industrial conditions, imported
organic soybeans from Brazil, or name-brand organic vegetables
from China (burning down rain forests and shipping food around
the world in not sustainable!), a lot is on the line right now
for family-scale farmers. All the hope that organic agriculture
has offered is at risk. If successful, this first action concerning
organic livestock production will demonstrate to the agribusiness
lobbyists, USDA bureaucrats, and members of Congress that the
organic farming community is going to fight to maintain the ethical
reputation we have earned in the eyes of the consumer. Please
PETITION TO THE NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD TO STOP
FACTORY FARM ORGANICS
will be hand delivered at the National Organic Standards
Board meeting in Washington D.C., March 1-3, 2005.
regarding this issue:
you have problems submitting the data on this petition form,
it is due to high traffic levels on this website. You can
also submit your petition information directly via email.
Also, if you are outside of North America, you can sign
the petition by sending all of the contact information requested
at the Organic Consumers Association
Largest Organic Dairy Brand, Horizon, Accused of Violating Organic
- Organic Valley Speaks
Out Against Intensive Confinement Dairies Certified as "Organic"
- More News on the New Federal
Court Ruling on Organic Standards
- Cornucopia Institute on
the "Greenwashing" of Organic Factory Dairy Farms
- Debate: Can a Factory
Farm Dairy Really Be "Organic"
- Mega-Dairy Aurora Organic
Admits It's an Intensive Confinement Organic Feedlot
- USDA Feels the Heat on Allowing
Factory Style Dairies to be Certified as "Organic"
- Group Files Complaint
to USDA on "Factory-Style Dairy Farms" Certified as
- Industrial Organic Milk vs.
Organic Family Farmers