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Organic milk ‘overpriced,’ no better

Sept. 7, 2011 - 19:30 By
A study found Wednesday that organic milk products cost up to three times more than standard milk products despite containing no fewer harmful substances or bacteria.

Consumers Korea released its study on organic milk products of three major diary companies including Namyang Diary Products Co. and Pasteur Milk.

“There was actually no difference between organic and standard milk products,” the group said in a news conference at the building of the Fair Trade Commission in southern Seoul.

The group conducted the study between June and August and was sponsored by the state-run antitrust regulator.

According to the group, standard milk products surveyed did not contain bacteria, colon bacillus, antibiotics or pesticide residue when compared to organic milk products.

However, the prices of organic milk products were 1.8 to 2.6 times higher, the study found.

Even though companies often cite the high costs for organic feed, the group said they are making excessive profits.

“Producers say that organic feed costs are 50 to 60 percent more expensive than ordinary ones paying an additional 540 won (5 cents) per liter to diary firms,” the group said.

“However, that cannot be an excuse for them to double or triple the product prices,” the group said, urging a price reduction in organic milk products.

The group also found no difference in the composition of other specialty milk products claimed to contain more vitamins or calcium.

A vitamin A-enriched milk product manufactured by Seoul Milk actually contained 65 percent less of the nutrient compared to the company’s standard milk product.

Based on their findings, the group plans to request that the FTC take follow-up measures.

“We are considering launching an investigation into the advertising strategy of premium milk products,” said a FTC official.

By Lee Ji-yoon (