Organic Dairy Struggle Coming to a Head

MINNEAPOLIS, US - A long struggle over what kind of milk counts as organic is coming to a head.
calendar icon 19 November 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

The Department of Agriculture has issued draft rules for organic milk that would require that the cows be on pasture at least half the year and get plenty of fresh grass, reports the Los Angeles Times. The proposals are meant to close a loophole that has allowed some huge feedlots to sell their milk as organic, even though their cows rarely grazed on fresh grass.

Advocates for family dairy farms and organic consumers say that's not what shoppers think they are buying when they pay a premium for organic milk.

"Pretty much the entire organic community welcomes the long-overdue closing of loopholes for pasture and feed in the organic dairy regulations," Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, told the Los Angeles Times.

"The controversy has dragged on so long," agreed George Siemon, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and chief executive officer of Organic Valley, the nation's largest farmer-owned organic dairy cooperative.

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