May 03, 2017 03:25 AM EDT
Organic milk is always on the list of every customer while doing their grocery as it is natural and free from preservatives. However, an investigation by a daily newspaper might disappoint buyers and expose organic dairy farms.
In an article written by Peter Whoriske The Washington Post, it was unveiled that some organic dairy farms may not be adhering to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) mandate regarding labeling the milk as an organic milk. In order to have that label, the cows must graze fresh grass in fertilizer-free and open-air pastures.
Last 2016, Whoriske visited Aurora Organic Dairy located in Greeley Colorado for eight days. It is a facility that supplies organic milk to major retailers like Costco and Walmart. Upon investigating, the reporter found out that 90 percent of its cows were indoors and not grazing on pastures.
A test by the Virgina Tech scientists also proved that the Aurora Organic Dairy does not provide authentic organic milk. In their test on a key indicator of grass-feeding, milk from Aurora is just a normal milk and not organic.
In an article by the Business Insider, dairy farms could generate more income by selling organic milk. However, the process of organic certification is costly and time-consuming. In addition, transitioning to a certified-organic farm would take them three years and the certification would range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
In order to enforce these regulations on organic milk, the USDA allows farmers to hire and pay their own inspectors to give them certification that they are producing organic products as a way for they agency to save money. However, The Washington Post reports that even large and established farms like Aurora could still sell "organic" milk without going through an inspection.
So how could the Aurora dairy farm get away from producing inauthentic "organic" milk? The Washington Post found out that the farm was getting inspected after the grazing season, making it hard to know if the cows are grazing or not. Clearly, this is a violation of the policy imposed by the USDA.
As a response, Aurora's organic farm spokeswoman Sonja Tuitele told the Washington Post that their visits were just "drive-bys". She said that what they saw is not evident of the farm's practices.
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