News broke Monday morning that PromiseLand Livestock, based in Missouri, was de-certified by the USDA in late November. PromiseLand failed to hand over relevant records which are part of certification maintenance. Long suspected of skirting organic regulations, the cattle company’s loss is being applauded by food activists.
It’s important to note, however, that this de-certification does not mean PromiseLand Livestock was breaking organic rules; rather, it simply means that they did not provide paperwork to the USDA. As such, they will not be able to regain their certification for at least 4 years.
What does this mean for you?
If you’ve ever purchased a Horizon Organic product, there’s a decent chance it came from a PromiseLand Livestock dairy cow. PromiseLand has sold many dairy cows to Horizon over the years, and presumably that supply has entered its milk and sour cream products (to name a few).
It’s difficult to say for sure how PromiseLand Livestock’s dairy cows were raised and fed. We just don’t know enough right now to drawn any substantiated accusations.
As a personal choice, I do not typically buy Horizon’s products anyway. Michigan has some wonderful local dairies like MOO-ville and Calder.
One of the largest organic cattle producers in the country has been suspended for four years from selling organic dairy cows after failing to demonstrate that it was following federal organic standards.
Promiseland Livestock LLC, based in Falcon, Mo., 160 miles southwest of St. Louis, sells thousands of dairy cows to large dairies that produce organic milk, including the nation’s largest, Horizon Organic, and others that produce private-label organic milk for several chains, including Target, Wal-Mart and Schnucks.
Promiseland, which has primary operations in Missouri and Nebraska, and its owner, Anthony J. Zeman, repeatedly refused to provide access to records that would show compliance with organic rules, according to court records.