From: , Organic Consumers Association, More from this Affiliate
Published September 13, 2007 05:44 PM

Putting An End to Organic Dairy Fraud

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.


For more information on this issue see: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_6912.cfm



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The next step



For more than a year, the OCA has called for a boycott of Aurora's bogus organic milk. While we are happy to see USDA bureaucrats finally do something to protect organic dairy standards, concerned organic consumers are outraged that the USDA has not done all that federal law requires. Although this multi-million dollar corporation was found to have "willfully" violated federal law in misrepresenting their milk as organic and defrauding consumers around the country for over three years, they have been allowed to remain in business and have seemingly gotten away without being fined a single cent. We're sick and tired of greedy corporations like Aurora degrading organic standards.



It's time for grassroots Organic Consumers to prepare for legal action and stop this fraud once and for all. But to do this we need your help. If you feel you have been defrauded by purchasing "organic" milk from any of the retail chains or wholesalers listed above (i.e. those that get their milk from Aurora), and you are willing to work with a team of OCA-allied legal researchers to stop this organic labeling fraud, please contact us with the information requested below, and our legal research team will contact you by email or telephone.



You can also help us out a lot if you purchased any store brand organic milk or butter from the retailers listed above or from other stores, from January 2004 through today, by dropping us a note at ronniecummins@organicconsumers.org or calling the OCA office at 218-226-4164 and letting us know:


1. Your name and phone number


2. Name and brand of purchase


3. Name of store


4. City, state and addresses available


5. Approximate timeframe of purchase (ex. 2004-2006)


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