The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, filed formal complaints against Aurora Dairy and their organic certifier, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, after a scathing front-page expose in The Washington Post presented strong evidence that the largest organic milk producers in the US has been operating illegally.

“The rigorous investigative work by Peter Whoriskey at The Washington Post clearly illustrates a pattern of long-term corruption by both Aurora Dairy and the USDA's National Organic Program,” says Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s co-director. “Our organic regulators have turned a blind eye as giant industrial operations place ethical family-scale dairy farmers at a distinct competitive disadvantage.”

Aurora Dairy — the largest supplier of private label organic dairy for chains like Walmart, Costco and Target — was found to be using feedlots with cattle confined to dirt and manure-covered pens rather than at pasture, as organic law requires.