USA: Arizona organic factory farm dairy to lose certification
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
An industrial-scale organic dairy, located south of Phoenix in the desert Southwest of the USA, is poised to lose its USDA organic certification. The enforcement action at Shamrock Farms is the result of a USDA investigation into organic livestock management practices that was triggered by a formal complaint from the Cornucopia Institute.
Shamrock operates a massive dairy that was milking approximately 16,000 cows at the time of an inspection by Cornucopia staff in 2008. Between 700 and 1,100 of the cows at the split operation were in the organic milk herd; the remainder were part of a conventional dairy that is part of the same sprawling complex. Shamrock is Arizona's first-ever certified organic dairy, the Cornucopia Institute reports. "We found inadequate, overgrazed pasture adjacent to their milking facility, and we were told by Shamrock employees that the confined cows had not been out in weeks," said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for the Cornucopia Institute. On the organization's website, pictures of Shamrock's industrial-scale dairy can be viewed in the photo gallery.
Shamrock's organic certifier, Quality Assurance International, has been asked by the USDA to handle the suspension. Shamrock Food Company's milk and sour cream products are distributed in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions and available at such retailers as Walmart.
Login for subscribers