Organic consumers assume that when they're buying "USDA Organic" milk or dairy products, that the animals have access to pasture, and have been raised organically for their entire lives on sustainably-sized farms. Unfortunately, as the Cornucopia Institute has pointed out, companies like Dean Foods (Horizon) and Aurora have become leaders in the organic dairy sector by producing cheap milk on factory farm feedlots, feeding the cows organic grains, but providing no access to pasture, as organic standards require.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has pleaded with the USDA for four years to clarify federal regulations requiring pasture access and to put an end to factory farm dairy feedlots calling themselves organic. Unfortunately USDA, no doubt under pressure from "industrial organic" lobbyists, has failed to act. In addition loopholes in federal organic standards are allowing unscrupulous organic dairy operators to increase their herd size by importing young calves from conventional farms, where the animals are routinely weaned on cattle blood, injected or medicated with antibiotics, and fed genetically engineered grains, laced with slaughterhouse waste and tainted animal fat. T
he NOSB will be meeting on November 16, at which time public comments will be reviewed on this issue. Please sign OCA's petition to the USDA, calling on the agency to close loopholes in federal regulations that are allowing factory farms to produce milk labeled "organic." Please give the US Department of Agriculture a call at 202-720-3631 and ask them to stop allowing factory dairy farms to use the "USDA Organic" Label.
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