A federal judge in Colorado has dismissed charges against an organic dairy accused of not meeting organic standards, in a case which originated with research by a Wisconsin-based group.
Mark Kastel is with the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute . Their investigation of Aurora Dairy spurred the consumer lawsuit. “The most damning conclusion of the fourteen counts the USDA found was that they had willfully sold milk that was labeled organic, that did not meet the federal definition,” says Kastel. “This was consumer fraud, plain and simple.”
Colorado-based Aurora dairy argued they never actually lost their organic certification. Kastel says that’s true, but that USDA was set to revoke Aurora’s organic certification, when Bush administration political appointees let Aurora off with a slap on the wrist. Kastel disputes the judge’s decision. “The judge in this lower court case decided that the USDA was the final arbiter. It didn’t matter ir corruption was taking place at the USDA, he was going to let USDA solely decide.”
Cornucopia plans to appeal the decision. Kastel says the good news is 90-percent of organic products are produced with high integrity. He hopes for stronger commitment to regulate organic foods from President Obama’s administration.