For eight years the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has stood with organic family farmers in an effort to crack down on the handful of giant factory farms, each milking thousands of cows, that are misrepresenting themselves as organic. The USDA just put out a draft rule that would require mandatory pasturing of dairy cows during the full growing season, with a minimum of 30% of their feed coming from pasture forage. The OCA and the organic community supports this tightening up of pasture and feed standards.
Unfortunately the proposed new regulation still includes a loophole that would allow large dairy farms to bring non-organic heifers, or young milk cows onto their farms, and then call them organic. The Bush USDA has allowed only a 60-day comment period from the public on this rule. More time is needed to mobilize consumers and farmers to close this loophole and decertify the
dozen or so industrial-scale dairy feedlots operated or sourced by large dairy corporations such as Aurora, Horizon, Rockview, and Shamrock, who supply cheap “organic” milk to Wal-Mart, Safeway, Costco and other chains.
Please send a message to the USDA secretary asking for a 30-day extension to the public comment period so all farmers, including Amish families that don’t have e-mail, and consumers, have a chance to review this rule and make their views known.
Simply take 30 seconds to click here and a ready-made letter is all ready for you to send.