Organic Dairy Farmers Set for Symbolic Dumping of Milk

Organic milk "dump" protests growing market share of large industrial dairies

The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based non-profit fighting for small-scale agriculture, is calling on organic milk producers to stage a symbolic milk dump during a "Save the Organic Family Dairy Farm Rally" at the LaCrosse Interstate Fair in West Salem, Wisc., on July 16.

The institute says that giant factory farms are producing a "tidal wave" of milk that threatens to wash family farmers right out of the business. According to their press release, more than 40 percent of the nation's organic milk is produced in 20 large industrial dairies.

They say the USDA under George Bush just looked the other way while large corporate agribusiness invested in organic production.

The Wisconsin protest calls on Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to order a crackdown on "scofflaws" who are bending the organic regulations on giant factory dairies.

At the same time the protest emerges, Conucopia said it completed an in-depth study last year rating the country's 110 organic dairy brands based on their ethical approach to milk production and 90 percent of all name-brand organic dairy products were highly rated.

"In general, consumers can really trust the organic label. These giant corporate dairies are just bad aberrations," said Will Fantle, research director at Cornucopia.

Does anybody else see a conflict here? How can we have a "tidal wave" of milk that violates standards and accounts for 40 percent of all production that somehow doesn't really affect the end product?

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