Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The commercialization of organic

Millions of ‘organic’ eggs come from industrial scale chicken operations, group says

By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post December 15 at 12:22 PM

At some egg farms, chickens get the run of hundreds of acres of pasture. They scratch at the ground, foraging for bugs and seeds. They peck at the grass, They engage in what the USDA calls their “natural behaviors.”

These farms can label their eggs "organic."

At other facilities, tens of thousands of birds are packed into large warehouse like buildings and rarely get outdoors. These eggs, too, are being labelled "organic" because of lax USDA enforcement, according to the Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit watchdog group.

“There’s just not an interest at USDA in enforcing the law,” Mark Kastel, the cofounder of the group, which is releasing a report today criticizing some of the nation's largest egg farms and publishing a consumer's guide to organic eggs. “Consumers expect that they are protected from fraud. But that’s not what's happening.”

(Continued here.)

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