Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Organic Dairy Agrees to Alter Some Practices

By Andrew Martin, New York Times, August 30, 2007

A huge Colorado organic dairy agreed yesterday to stop applying the organic label to some of its milk and make major changes in its operation after the Department of Agriculture threatened to revoke its organic certification for, among other problems, failing to provide enough pasture to its cows.

The dairy, Aurora Organic Dairy, which supplies private-label organic milk for many supermarket chains, must also remove some animals from the organic herd at its Platteville, Colo., farm, according to a Department of Agriculture statement released late yesterday that outlined the terms of a consent agreement with the dairy.

While the U.S.D.A. has taken action against other organic producers, the consent decree with Aurora represents a rare show of force against a leading supplier of products to the rapidly expanding market for organic foods.