New Aerial Photos Suggest Big Organic Farmers May Be Lying to Us

New Aerial Photos Suggest Big Organic Farmers May Be Lying to Us
Consumers of organic eggs and milk like knowing that the cows and chickens on organic farms are treated decently. Many people count on the fact that these animals are required to get a certain amount of time in the great outdoors. They’re not supposed to be kept indoors round the clock in classic factory farm fashion.
Unfortunately, one watchdog group called the Cornucopia Institute says the biggest organic farms aren’t bothering to follow the rules. They’re getting too big to be able to even try. In fact, they’re turning into… factory farms.
The Wisconsin-based group, which researches and investigates agricultural and food issues, announced in December 2014:
[C]onsumers, who rightly assume that the animals producing their food are being treated respectfully, and consequently resulting in higher quality food, are being taken advantage of in the marketplace.
Why is this so? Take a gander at the aerial photographs the Cornucopia Institute took earlier in 2014 of 14 major organic diary and chicken farms. See large numbers of animals enjoying the sun and air? No? That’s a problem. Potentially, that’s a rather important violation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic certification.
Grazing on a small organic farm.  Photo credit: Thinkstock
What Makes an “Organic” Chicken or Dairy Cow?
“The federal organic regulations make it very clear that all organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and that ruminants, like dairy cows, must have access to pasture,” said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst and co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, in a press release.

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