May 3, 2017

Question of the Week — Are Large-Scale Organic Farms Possible?

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

This weekend, the Washington Post published an exposé of Aurora Organic Dairy, a massive farm in Colorado that supplies USDA-certified organic milk to large chains like Walmart and Costco.  Aurora’s milk meets the technical specifications for “organic,” which include the requirement that grass-fed cows are allowed to graze.  However, according to the Washington Post, Aurora’s cows do not receive sufficient pasture time to imbue its milk with the health benefits one would expect to find in grass-fed milk.  This problem is not limited to Aurora.  According to the Cornucopia Institute’s Dairy Scorecard, many of the larger organic dairies around the country do not allow sufficient grazing time for their cows, raising these same concerns.

Nor is the problem limited to milk.  Other organic foodstuffs raise similar issues.  Ultimately, the question is whether it is possible to do real organic healthful farming at scale.  Many industrial farming techniques do not lend themselves to the environmental focus most consumers associate with organic farms.  But there’s nothing inherent in large farms that would prevent them from following the environmental, health, and safety standards associated with organic farming—except a singular focus on the bottom line.

What do you think?  Are Large-Scale Organic Farms Possible?

Are Large-Scale Organic Farms Possible?

 

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