Tuesday, April 18, 2006

WalMart's "Organic" Dairy Products

I recently heard on the news that WalMart decided to sell organic food and then I read in another article that they are selling Horizon brand "organic" dairy products. Both WalMart and Horizon are major contributors to Republican candidates, so I was suspicious of Horizon.

Now I know why local natural food stores sell Organic Valley brand instead of Horizon (from Union of Concerned Scientists):

A national survey by the Cornucopia Institute ranked 68 organic dairy brands according to how well they follow organic farming practices and ethics. The survey found that most name-brand organic dairy producers follow acceptable legal and ethical standards, but a fifth of organic milk is produced by factory farms that tend to skirt organic standards and to employ practices that are detrimental to animal welfare and human health, such as keeping cows confined in feedlots and buying replacement cows from conventional operations. Brands that earned a high rating, like Organic Valley, maintained 100 percent control over their own milk supply, gave animals access to pasture, and reared their own replacement cows. Brands that earned low marks, like Horizon or Aurora, bought much of their milk from factory farm contractors or unknown sources, and were not open with customers about their practices. See how your favorite brand measures up. In a related story, shareholders of Dean Foods, the parent company of Horizon, filed a resolution to review the company's sourcing of raw milk because they were concerned that Horizon was violating organic standards. Click here to read more.