If you’ve bought organic milk from Costco or Walmart’s house brands (ie. Kirkland Signature), it may not actually be organic milk.
The company that supplies these and other major retail brands, Aurora Organic Dairy, was the subject of a recent investigation by the Washington Post that revealed the milk and cattle handling practices of the giant dairy company were not adequate for federal standards of organic dairy.
The Post found an egregious number of errors in the raising of Aurora’s cattle for milk, including extremely sparse grazing periods and testing by Virginia Tech scientists that revealed the absence of key components found in milk from cattle on a grass-fed diet. These compounds include conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) and alpha-linolenic acid, both of which have been linked to optimal health and long-term weight management.
Since organic milk must come from cattle grazed at least during grazing season, you would expect an organic milk to be relatively high in these compounds. Aurora’s milk, when tested, had levels of both very similar to conventional milk, indicating a lack of organic practices at the firm.
This isn’t the first time Aurora has been found to be potentially violating rules. The Post reports that Aurora was found to have “willfully violated” organic standards by the USDA ten years ago, but the matter was settled out of court and the company was allowed to continue to operate.
Seems like Aurora just went back to business as usual by continuing to deceive its customers. Considering that organic milk can be almost double the price of conventional milk, that’s a huge scam the dairy firm is pulling off if the Post’s investigation is confirmed by outside sources.