Back in April 2007, NewsTarget editor Mike Adams interviewed Organic Consumers Association‘s Ronnie Cummins. Although the interview was published a few months ago, I think it’s important to know just what is happening in the industry — and whether everything you see labeled as "organic" is really organic. And so, for your edification and reading pleasure:

Interview: Organic Consumers Association’s Ronnie Cummins tells the truth about organic milk that isn’t

The problem is that our government – specifically the U. S. Department of Agriculture – takes about $90 billion of our tax money every year, and they give subsidies to all of these factory farms to go organic, but they give no subsidies to help family-scale dairies make the transition to organic. We literally do not have enough family farmers with the wherewithal to achieve organic certification and make the product.

At the same time, we have these giant retail giants like Wal-Mart who have noticed that the public wants organic food and they are willing to pay a premium price for it, so they and the other retail chain stores have moved with a vengeance to dominate the organic market. Wal-Mart is now the number-one seller of organic milk in the country. The problem is that the milk they are selling – Horizon Organic – is not really organic. It is coming from the factory-style dairy farms where the animals are kept in intensive confinement and have been imported from conventional farms as calves. They simply label it organic, and the USDA lets them get away with it.

The interview also covers the history of what happened with Wal-Mart, Dean’s Foods and Horizon Organic.

The good news is, almost all the organic farmers in the country are actually practicing real organic standards. The bad news is that the market leader, Horizon Organic, and their junior partner, Aurora Organic, are flagrantly violating organic standards to the point where we, the Organic Consumers Association, had to call for a boycott. We have never called for a boycott against an organic product before. This was going too far, so starting in early April, we called on consumers across the country to start boycotting the products of Horizon Organic and Aurora Organic …

Most people in the United States are shocked when they hear that 80 percent of the drugs and antibiotics made in this country are not fed to humans to cure them of some illness, but fed to animals in their feed every day to make them grow faster. Scientists do not totally understand why, but they do know that if you cram thousands of animals together in unsanitary or unhygienic – not to mention inhumane – conditions, they all get sick and die.

The only way to keep them alive is to constantly feed them antibiotics. Of course, what that means is you turn around and drink a glass of dairy milk from a conventional farm, and you are getting residues of antibiotics in every drink. They also figured out, "We could use our genetically engineered hormone to shoot up these cows with this hormone produced by Monsanto, even though it is banned in just about every industrialized country in the world except for the United States."

This is an important article, I feel, because it’s vital that consumers know that whatever they’re being sold under the label of "organic" may not be so organic — but sometimes that information just isn’t so easily available to all of us. Or, as Mr. Cummins himself says, "I want people to understand how they do an end-run around this organic label".

It’s a bit of a shocking article (and it’s not solely about milk), but it’s important to your health. Read the article.

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