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Horizon Milk IS NOT ORGANIC & Dean Foods Is Nothing Short of CORRUPT

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I saw the horizon milk come up again on my feed and so i clicked, i am really appalled at the ratings this product is getting. the average rating for this completely curropt and non eco company and product is a 4 probably only brought down from the five by my half score rating.

 

I did add this to the wiki for horizon at the bottom of them page, but i'm posting here also. This company and product is well known for not being organic, for deception, and in my own opinion they probably have bribed their way to getting and keeping the usda organic lable. How else do explain things like this-

 

10/31/07
Cornucopia, WI ­ - The Cornucopia Institute sharply criticized the conclusion by USDA that an 8000-head factory dairy in Idaho was operating within the federal organic standards.  Cornucopia had requested an investigation based on its site visit to the giant industrial-scale dairy, owned by Dean Foods, and the gathering of evidence from other industry professionals with first-hand knowledge of the operation.

The USDA informed Cornucopia today that it had closed its investigation into Dean Foods' Horizon dairy in Paul, Idaho and another corporate-owned facility in Kennedyville, Maryland. The USDA investigation was in response to a formal legal complaint filed by Cornucopia in 2006.

"We know from our visit to the Idaho facility that they had no functional pasture meeting legal requirements and were unable to graze their huge dairy herd," said Mark Kastel, codirector of the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute.  Cornucopia's legal complaint included interviews with the veterinarian and with livestock professionals associated with Horizon's Maryland dairy indicating that they were not pasturing the animals there, either. ... read more- http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_8105.cfm 

 

 

 

Here's the info I added for the wiki:

 

Horizon Organic Milk Product Wiki

 
 

Related Media/Links:

 

Horizon Organic Milk is Not so "Organic" After All

Horizon and their sister company Aurora Organics have been cutting corners by not following true organic standards. They continue to produce milk under factory-farm conditions which are against organic regulations. Also, instead of buying organically raised calves, they purchase calves born and raised on conventional farms.

These so called organic cows are being fed a diet of genetically modified grains, slaughterhouse waste (ground up pigs, chickens, dogs and cats) and chicken manure. It is too expensive to wean a baby calve on milk, so they have switched to weaning them on the blood of other animals.

This has ultimately led to the Organic Consumers Association to call for a boycott against Horizon and Aurora Organics. This is monumental because they have never called for a boycott on any other product in the past.
 

..... click link to read more- http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/220290/hori
zon_organic_milk_is_not_so_organic.html?cat=5

 

 

Horizon milk, Wild Oats named in consumer boycott of "false" organic products

(NaturalNews) The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) recently added five additional brands to its three-month boycott of "fake" organic products it says are knowingly mislabeled as "USDA organic."

 

In April 2006, the OCA launched a boycott against two big-name distributors of organic dairy products -- Horizon and Aurora -- claiming, "All of Aurora's and much or Horizon's 'organic' milk is coming from factory farm feedlots where the cows have been brought in from conventional farms and have little or no access to pasture." Since April, the OCA says thousands of consumers, natural food stores and co-ops have joined the boycott.

 

 ..... click link to read more- http://www.naturalnews.com/019806.html

 

Horizon Organic Parent Corporation, Dean Foods, Sued for Alleged Price Fixing

From Sustainable Food News

A group of small dairy farmers in the southeast U.S. have filed a lawsuit against Dean Foods Co., the largest milk distributor in the country, accusing the company of price fixing.

 

..... click link to read more- http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_6108.cfm

 

 

There is so much more where these came from, do your own search and be prepared to be appalled.

 

 

Troubleshooting/Known Issues:

 

 

I guess the fact that it's not really organic and corrupt would go here as a 'known issues"? Dean Foods is labled as "Ethically Deficient" by well known and established The Cornucopia Institute. (http://cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html)


Edited by kaymmiv - Tue, 16 Dec 2008 01:17:26 UTC
post #2 of 14

Wow... thanks for this info.  I actually was not aware of these issues, but if what they say is being done to raise the herds is true - no way are these organic processes!

 

Luckily I rarely buy that milk - unless, gasp!, it is labeled for Trader Joes or O-Organics - I will be checking labels to see if their name shows up.  Hope not.

 

I updated my scores -  they are alot like yours now... it still rates at 4 stars... :-\ 


Edited by socalsolar - Wed, 17 Dec 2008 06:28:27 UTC
post #3 of 14

All over Ontario organic farmers are producing organic milk from cows that have no access to pasture all winter long. They do not even get out in pasture during the days when there is no snow on the ground. It is strictly a feedlot operation all winter.

 

I am sure that some unscrupulous organic farmers even move them off pasture when the cows would sink to their ankles in the wet soil, or when drought has severely compromised the pastures.

 

Because a pasture can actually produce more food as hay than as a pasture field, I expect that a lot of organic farmers will be cutting hay and taking it to a feedlot rather than have enough pasture land to satisfy their whole herds all the time.  In fact, I think it is accepted as good planning to cut hay from the pasture when there is lots of it, and have some available to feed the herd through periods of drought, and periods of low pasture productivity.

 

Now this can progress to the point that the farmer moves to zero-grazing strategy. Cows are in feedlots where they can walk around and harrass one another,  can lie down in each others' feces. But in practical terms they are going to be in those conditions all winter at best.  Some farmers will not see this as evil. Nobody appears to have a solution to the  winter problem, so if it is ok for winter, why not year round?

 

Milking cows that go out on pasture typically return to a central milking station twice a day. That means they do a lot of walking if the farm is very large, as in more than a few square km. It is a lot easier on cows if the outer reaches of the land is being harvested mechanically and transported to a feedlot closer to the milking station. But when the operation gets larger and larger we have only a limited area of pasture close to the milking station with most of the land beyond of necessity being mechanically grazed. 

 

Organic organizations may need to work out the logistics for a very large operation rather than simply fight size. There are some practical problems that arise from very large operations, and the consumer can be persuaded to allow these deviations to keep their food cost lower.

post #4 of 14

Out here in southern California, in the area of Orange County that I live - all the organic milk we find basically costs $5.99/gal, regardless of brand.  That is expensive in my book - but we buy it anyway for the sake of our family.  We must trust that the USDA Organic certification is valid.  We also assume that due to the extra (perhaps more old fashioned/less efficient) processes necessitated by the requirements of the certification that there is a much higher expense - thus the price we pay.  I am all for increasing efficiencies, but not at the cost of "watering down" the organic certification. 

 

DonFletcher - As far as winter grazing in cold climates... interesting dilemma.  How to produce a large volume of milk when the pasture is frozen.  I have no idea :-)   What you note about the feed lots and winter makes sense... I can see accommodations for "small" herds, but for large ranches - well - large commercial production has been noted as part of the problem and perhaps this is another reason why.  The ranches with "large" herds possibly have no choice but to do practices that simply are very difficult to pass organic certification requirements. 

post #5 of 14

 wow -- would just like to say that i am appalled and will no longer be buying Horizon.  the crazy thing is that, despite the prices, the brand has been my go-to not only for milk but also for butter, cream, etc.  that's terrible.  thanks for the heads up....

post #6 of 14

From what my wife (MS in animal science, focus on cows, and worked on the UC Davis dairy) has told me, "organic" milk mainly means the cows haven't been given hormones or antibiotics.

 

In terms of the hormones, they occur naturally in the cows anyway.  Injecting them with more hormones just makes them produce more milk.  Not a big deal in my book.

 

In terms of antibiotics, it's true that some dairies will overdo it, but at the same time, sometimes cows get infections and need antibiotics.  Cows on dairy farms producing "organic" milk thus don't treat their cows when they get infections.  I really don't see how that's an improvement.

 

In the end, we try to buy mostly organic products, but we don't buy organic milk.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:

 

In the end, we try to buy mostly organic products, but we don't buy organic milk.

 

Interesting thoughts above, Dana, and I'm particularly intrigued by not buying organic milk.  it is definitely something to consider, as i'm learning more about what exactly defines "organic milk."  from the way you are describing it, it sounds more like a sham (or at least a more expensive product with less explicit benefit) compared with other organically grown/farmed/produced products....

post #8 of 14

That's basically how we see it.  And there may be more to it, like from the sound of previous posts, it also has something to do with their pasture land.

 

But I'm pretty sure the hormones and antibiotics are a key component of organic milk, and in particular I don't like the elimination of antibiotics.  Next time you're buying milk, maybe check out the label on the organic carton and see if it tells you how exactly the milk is "organic".

 

In fact here's what Horizon says:

 

"Organic milk is milk that is produced without the use of antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. Specifically, cows are raised on 100% certified organic feed for at least one year before producing certified organic milk; feed is grown on land that has been pesticide-free for at least three years; synthetic growth hormones (rBGH) and antibiotics are prohibited; and organic milk is isolated throughout milking, transporting, processing and packaging, meaning that it does not come into contact with any non-organic milk during any of these stages."

 

The organic feed is good - I'm all for that.  But not the lack of antibiotics.  Sure don't use them when it's not necessary, but don't eliminate them either.  To me that's a bigger negative than the organic feed is positive.  And I don't care about the hormones, so overall the net effect to me is that organic milk is worse than non-organic.  And it costs more.  So we don't buy it.


Edited by dana1981 - Wed, 24 Dec 2008 18:40:47 UTC
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:

And I don't care about the hormones, so overall the net effect to me is that organic milk is worse than non-organic.  And it costs more.  So we don't buy it.


Edited by dana1981 - Wed, 24 Dec 2008 18:40:47 UTC

 

I'm definitely not so keen on the hormones myself.  Anything that increases the onset of puberty in girls just can't be the best....

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stins:

 

I'm definitely not so keen on the hormones myself.  Anything that increases the onset of puberty in girls just can't be the best....

Giving cows bovine growth hormone increases the onset of puberty in girls?

 

I'm gonna have to call shenanigans on that one.  Let's see some evidence, stins!

post #11 of 14

I truly believe that the hormones in milk have an effect on puberty. 

 

I was never a milk drinker...my Mom would occasionally force me to down a glass when she thought that I needed some calcium.  I did not get my cycle until I was 14 and my chest stayed pretty small as well.

 

My sister on the other hand drank milk like it was going out of style....one of her first words (after mama) was milk.  She got her cycle at the young age of  9 and had a more fully developed chest than I did by the time she was 10 (I was 17).

 

But, that's only part of the reason I choose Organic milk.  The other reason is that there have been studies linking steroidal hormones (what they inject the cows with) to breast cancer and other cancers.  And there have been studies that the early onset of puberty is also linked to breast cancer.

 

envirocancer.cornell.edu/Factsheet/Diet/fs37.hormones.cfm

 

My Great Grandmother died from breast cancer, my Mother had (and survived) cervical cancer & my grandmother had skin cancer...more than once.  So needless to say...cancer runs in my family.

 

And while the research is not clear-cut as to weather the added hormones get into the milk or not and what effect they have on puberty & cancer risk...just knowing that there is that possibility, is worth the extra cost to buy organic.   And by doing that, I have the peace of mind knowing that I am doing the best I can to care for my health as well as the rest of my family.


Quote:

Originally Posted by dana1981:
Quote:
Originally Posted by stins:

 

I'm definitely not so keen on the hormones myself.  Anything that increases the onset of puberty in girls just can't be the best....

Giving cows bovine growth hormone increases the onset of puberty in girls?

 

I'm gonna have to call shenanigans on that one.  Let's see some evidence, stins!

 

 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:
Quote:
Originally Posted by stins:

 

I'm definitely not so keen on the hormones myself.  Anything that increases the onset of puberty in girls just can't be the best....

Giving cows bovine growth hormone increases the onset of puberty in girls?

 

I'm gonna have to call shenanigans on that one.  Let's see some evidence, stins!

 

Okay, well...there has been lots of speculation and no conclusive study.  But you know...in some cases, I'd rather be safe than sorry.  Precautionary principle.  In any case, I'm okay with the fact that my dad and step mom only buy organic milk for my little sister.

post #13 of 14

My wife and I discussed the subject pretty extensively yesterday.

 

On an organic farm, if a cow develops an infection, there are a few possibilities as to what happens to it.

 

  1. They'll get as much milk from the cow as possible, and then send it to a beef farm.
  2. They'll get as much milk from it as possible and then send it to a non-organic farm, where it can be treated with antibiotics.
  3. In the case of some milk distributors like Clover, which sell both organic and non-organic milk, option #2 is much easier.  They can simply send the infected cow to a nearby non-organic farm, or even a non-organic section of the same dairy farm.

 

So personally if I were going to buy organic milk, I'd do some research and buy it from a brand like Clover.

 

The definition of "organic" milk appears to mean that nothing "unnatural" can be given to the cows, which apparently excludes antibiotics.  Nevertheless, I think they should change that definition.

 

Both antibiotics and growth hormones are expensive.  Farmers don't just give them to their cattle willy-nilly.  On top of that, milk is frequently tested for antibiotics, and if a tanker is found to have antibiotics in it, it's dumped.  So antibiotics are not an issue in non-organic milk anyway.  It not only costs the ranchers money to give the cattle antibiotics, but it costs them a lot if a tanker is dumped.

 

As for bovine growth hormone, it's incredibly expensive.  According to my wife, it's $6 a pop, and when used, needs to be applied every few weeks.  That adds up pretty quick on a big dairy farm.  Farmers generally only apply growth hormone to cattle which are near the end of their milk production in order to extend it for a while.  So just for starters, it's not common practice because it's not cost-effective in most cases.

 

As previously noted, this is also a naturally-occuring hormone.  All it does is make a cow produce a little more milk.

 

And finally, as for the theory that it makes the onset of puberty happen quicker, there are a couple of issues.

 

  1. There is little evidence that drinking milk makes the onset of puberty happen earlier in girls.  It's little more than speculation.  But more importantly...
  2. This has nothing whatsoever to do with growth hormone.  The speculation is that the estrogen and other similar hormones might cause the onset of puberty eariler (as noted, this is extremely speculative), but it's not related to bovine growth hormone.  If you're worried about the onset of puberty, don't give your kids milk period.  Giving them organic milk won't make any difference.  But if you don't give them milk, definitely find another source of calcium.

 

So there you have it.  My personal feeling is that standard milk is at least as good if not better than organic milk, and of course also cheaper.  There are similar issues with organic meats like beef and chicken, but with different arguments.  Really it's more important to get free-range beef/chicken than organic if possible, in my opinion, but it gets kind of tricky if it's just between organic/not organic.  But that's a seperate discussion.

 


Edited by dana1981 - Fri, 26 Dec 2008 18:42:35 GMT
post #14 of 14

In Ontario it is not permitted to sell any milk with bovine growth hormone at detectable levels. It is an analog of estrogen or testosterone. For beef cattle that allows the creation of extra musle without extra exercise, useful for cattle confined to a feedlot.

 

Both estrogen and testosterone analogs have the effect of causing increase in the  blood supply system to tissues, called angiogenesis. Now what this does to cancer is allow the cancer to grow its blood supply faster. It does the same for other tissues like the uterus. Women have an offsetting hormone, progesterone that reverses the angiogenesis until later in life. But cancers that have not been getting extra estrogen may grow slowly enough so that the patient may die of other causes instead of cancer. Offsetting with extra progestrone analogs (no added estrogen) is being experimented with as a way to stop growth of cancers.

 

It is now established that for slow growing cancers, use of progesterone analog treatment can make a difference of extra years for men with prostate cancer.

 

Well, losing 15 pounds or more can also delay growth of prostate cancer by years too, but that happens because it removes another angiogenesis agent, excess insulin from the picture, and starves out the more agressive cancer cells so that men who have lost 15 pounds recently rarely present with high Gleason grade prostate cancer.

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