Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Aurora Milk lawsuit

I received the following email and bought O Organics and Woodstock Farms milk for over a year before switching to local milk. I will be contacting CFS about getting involved in the lawsuit.

"Help CFS Enforce the Integrity of Organic Milk Labels! One of the Center for Food Safety’s main goals is to protect the integrity of organic food so that consumers have a dependable, safe, and environmentally sustainable alternative to food produced through industrial agriculture.

Unfortunately, the ongoing actions of one dairy company have violated the trust consumers place in the organic label. On August 29th the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that from 2003 through 2006 Aurora Organic Dairy willfully violated the federal requirements for organic milk production by illegally failing to provide pasture, and by selling milk from cows that were not fully under organic management. The end result is that you - the organic consumer - may have paid a premium to purchase “organic” milk that was not truly organic! You can help ensure that the organic label really means organic. Companies like Aurora hurt the integrity of the organic label, and threaten the future of organic agriculture. While the USDA has partially addressed Aurora’s flagrant disregard for the organic standards, Aurora been allowed to continue to operate and many consumers are left feeling duped. CFS expects that there will be legal action taken against Aurora on behalf of consumers, and we want to make sure that YOUR rights are protected.

Aurora sells some of its milk under its own label: High Meadows. It also packages the majority of all private label organic milk and butter in the country for supermarkets such as Safeway, Costco, WalMart, Target and Wild Oats. If you purchased store brand organic milk or butter from any of these stores, or High Meadows, or Woodstock Farms brand, from 2003 through September 7, 2007, and are willing to speak with us about legal efforts against Aurora, please write back to us immediately!

If you can, please let us know:
- the name brand of your organic milk purchases
- the name of the store where you purchased the milk
- the amount of milk you purchased per week (1/2 gal., etc)
- the price you paid for the milk
- the period of time over which you purchased the milk

Don’t let one bad actor ruin your support for organic agriculture! By holding Aurora accountable for its terrible behavior, we put other companies on notice that we will not accept any violations of the organic standards. Together we can support the hard working farmers who are dedicated to the integrity of the organic label.

You can respond by emailing with “Aurora” in the subject line."


Howling Hill said...

Food lobbists have been trying to water down what makes organic organic. And they're trying to eliminate the need for labeling. Sad state of affairs we live in hu?

I've started a seed swap, details on my site. What better way to protect organic than to circumvent corporations who hold patents on our food?

farm mom said...

I agree with howlling hill, I don't think there is much difference between industrial organic and big Ag. I don't think the organic standard is organic enough. But, I do admire what you are doing. I haven't bought any of the products you're talking about, but I imagine a lot of people have.

Christy said...

I agree with both of you and that is why I'm now buying local milk. But that doesn't mean I should just ignore what the big businesses are doing and let them get away with it. I bought those products before I started buying local because I thought they were organic. I paid more for those products because I thought they were organic. Our local natural food store carries Woodstock Farms products probably thinking they are a small organic company when in fact they aren't. Maybe if 1 company if held liable for lying the others will think twice about doing it? Probably not, but I'm not ready to just give up (yet).