Consumer Victory of the Week:
USDA Proposes Mandatory Pasture and Feed Requirements for Organic Dairy Farms
After years of pressure from organic farmers, consumers, and advocacy groups, spearheaded by the OCA and the Cornucopia Institute, the USDA has finally decided to mandate pasture requirements for cattle on organic farms. The pasture requirements will be required for every day of the growing season (minimum 120 days) for dairy (and beef) cattle, with a minimum requirement that 30% of organic cattle feed come from pasture. It is our hope that these new requirements will put so-called “organic” factory farms, like those operated by Horizon and Aurora, out of business. Although the OCA applauds the USDA for finally proposing regulations that will put an end to intensive confinement dairy feedlots under the “USDA Organic” label, we strongly oppose a separate section of the proposed regulation that would allow non-organic heifers (young milk cows) from conventional farms to be brought onto organic dairy farms and then be considered “organic.” The OCA will be mobilizing our national network to take action on this issue in the coming weeks.