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Organic Fraud – Milk!

Have you noticed that “green” is IN?  And that organic is big business?  I think it’s great that we’re finally paying more attention to cleaning up the environment and eating cleaner food – but there is a downside.  It’s called hoodwinking.  It’s called making huge profits.  It’s called marketing.  It’s called finding the loopholes so agribusinesses can lie and not get caught–until now!

The Aurora milk producer has been caught – but it took 3 years.  Here’s an excerpt of that story from the Organic Bytes newsletter:

ACTION ALERT OF THE WEEK:
PUT AN END TO ORGANIC DAIRY FRAUD–ONCE & FOR ALL
SUCCESS STORY: Thanks to pressure from organic consumers, Cornucopia Institute and the OCA, the USDA has finally taken preliminary enforcement action against Aurora Organic for falsely labeling factory farmed milk as “organic”. Aurora is the nation’s largest supplier of “private label” organic milk to large retail chains and wholesalers including Wild Oats, Wal-Mart, Costco (“High Meadows”), Safeway (“O” Organics), Target, Giant (“Natures Promise”), UNFI (“Woodstock Farms”), and others. Part of USDA’s long overdue slap on the wrist of Aurora includes a legally binding Consent Agreement by Aurora to stop labeling some (but not all) of its milk as “USDA Organic” and to sell off hundreds of conventionally raised cows from their massive feedlots. In effect the USDA has forced Aurora to admit that they have deliberately and willfully defrauded organic consumers since 2003 by selling millions of dollars of cheap feedlot milk as organic, utilizing intensive confinement of their milk cows and illegally importing calves from non-organic dairy farms. More information on this issue

As consumers we need to be on the look out for too-good-to-be-true health claims – this includes pricing.   Big chains have been offering cheap “organics” – and now some of the under-the-radar-stretching-the-truth practices are coming to light.  As consumers, we can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem (not paying attention and listening to our guts).

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