Aurora Organic Dairy just a few weeks ago had a portion of its organic certification suspended by the USDA for “willfully” violating National Organic Standards thanks to pressure from OCA and others. Since 2003 it has failed to pasture its animals and by bringing conventional calves onto its feedlots and then declaring them organic. But caving in to pressure from Aurora and other big corporate players, the USDA now says they can continue selling milk produced on its factory farms as “organic” to its longstanding customers including Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway, and Woodstock Farms! Where’s the logic in that? That the “customer” knows its buying non-organic “organic” milk? It is institutionalised collusion.
And the new acting US Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Connors, a notorious cheerleader for biotech and corporate agribusiness, announced that this issue, regarding Aurora’s violation of the USDA National Organic Standards, “falls outside the scope of the USDA National Organic Standards. ” Now that they have the USDA in their pocket, Aurora is threatening to sue the Organic Consumers Association and Cornucopia Institute for educating and mobilising consumers to oppose Aurora’s blatant violations of organic standards.
Consumers must increasingly rely upon their knowledge of producers since labelling is becoming fictitious.