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Organic Cattle Should Be Pasture Fed— Not Raised in Intensive Feedlots

Two of the largest organic dairy companies in the nation, Horizon Organic (a subsidiary of Dean Foods), a supplier to Wal-Mart and many health food stores; and Aurora Organic, a supplier of private brand name organic milk to Costco, Safeway, Giant, Wild Oats and others, are purchasing the majority of their milk from feedlot dairies where the cows have little or no access to pasture.Together, these corporations control up to 65% of the organic dairy market.

Here's How Organic Consumers
Can Help Put a Stop to This

The USDA has posted revisions to the National Organic Program and is seeking public comment until June 12, 2006. The revisions can be viewed here. A portion of the revisions relate to the issue of dairy produced on factory farms being misleadingly labeled as "organic."

Take action and send a letter to the USDA here.

Aurora Dairy Farm


This is an actual photo of the Aurora "organic" dairy farm, holding several thousand head of cattle

Background Info

The watchdog group Cornucopia Institute recently published a long-awaited report on organic dairy practices in the USA, and the facts are rather sobering. The good news is that most organic dairies in the U.S. are following strict organic standards, including giving animals regular access to pasture. The bad news is that several major players in the organic dairy sector are blatantly violating organic standards. Take action and send a letter to the USDA here.

Factory FarmIn addition, a routine practice on these giant dairy feedlots, many with thousands of cows, is to continuously import calves from conventional farms, where animals have been weaned on blood, fed slaughterhouse waste and genetically engineered grains, and injected or dosed with antibiotics. Certifiers endorsing these factory farm organic products include QAI and the Colorado state department of agriculture. Send a message to the National Organic Program of the USDA and Congress to stop the labeling of factory farm milk as "organic."

These 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.

Take action and send a letter to the USDA here.

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