Responding to the class action law suits it faces, Aurora Organic Dairy said they were without merit. "There is absolutely no basis for claims we defrauded consumers by selling milk that isn't organic," CEO Marc Peperzak said in a statement.
He noted that a settlement agreement with the USDA confirmed that "AOD currently has eight valid organic certifications."
In its public relations battle with Cornucopia Institute, Aurora is playing the affordability card. Aurora's critics "want to limit the supply of organic milk and drive up the price paid by American families. This would harm consumers and slow the spread of organic agriculture. If they win, consumers lose," Peperzak said.
Fromartz take: Price has not been the main issue of this fight -- rather it has focused on whether large-scale organic dairy farms are truly following the USDA regulations. Aurora's critics say that by flouting rules, Aurora created a low-cost production model that unfairly competed with those who do follow the rules at a higher cost. But as Peperzak noted, the agreement with the USDA did affirm its organic certificates, much to the chagrin of many of Aurora's critics. Now, for consumers at least, it's up to the courts to decide.
- Samuel Fromartz