The Cornucopia Institute in Wisconsin is claiming that the nation's largest organic dairy operation, Horizon, is using the same factory farm techniques of conventional companies in denying adequate outdoor pasturage to its cows on three mega farms in Idaho, California and Colordao. On February 16 Cornucopia filed two formal complaints with the USDA.
Mark Kastel of Cornucopia said " both the Idaho and California operations differ little from conventional confinement dairies other than having their high-producing cows fed certified organic feed. Real organic farms have made great financial investments in converting to pasture-based production — enhancing the nutritional properties of the milk and for enhancing animal health—while it appears that these large corporate-dominated enterprises are happy just to pay lip service to required organic ethics."
Horizon responded to the challenge with a statement on its website.
"White Wave Foods and its Horizon Organic brand are committed to complying with the National Organic Standards and its guidelines regarding pasture for animals that are certified organic. We only operate farms and work with family farmers who adhere to the organic standards mandated by the USDA National Organic Program.
The organic industry is still in its infancy and the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is currently reviewing its pasture guidelines. Should the NOSB decide to revise or further clarify these guidelines, we will support them just as we always have."