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Consumer Law

Suits Claim ‘Organic’ Milk Not the Real Thing

Posted Dec 13, 2007 1:44 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Recent class-action lawsuits take issue with the “organic” label on milk sold by several retailers.

The suits claim the milk, produced by Aurora Organic Dairy of Boulder, Colo., wasn’t really organic, the Associated Press reports. The company recently agreed to change its practices after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The suits allege the milk was wrongly labeled by Costco, Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway and Wild Oats Markets. The labels typically picture country scenes of grazing cattle, but that’s not the reality, says Seattle lawyer Steve Berman. "These cows are all penned in factory-confinement conditions."

Aurora Organic Dairy was placed on probation for violating organic-standards law by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but the company has been allowed to keep its organic certification. The company has agreed to reduce the number of cows at its Colorado organic facility and to increase pasture land.

Target said in a statement that the suits are “attempting to override the USDA and regulate the organic industry.”

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