Hinterland Green

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Target Accused of Organic Food Fraud, Watchdog Group Files Formal Complaints With USDA's Organic Program

Have you ever wondered if the milk you are drinking is really organic as the label says? Well, if you purchased it at Target, there's a real possibility it might not be. The Cornucopia Institute, which is a food and agriculture watchdog group, said that it has filed formal complaints with USDA's organic program accusing the retail giant of organic food fraud. Here is the press release from the group:
The complaints are the latest salvo into a growing controversy whereas corporate agribusiness and major retailers have been accused of blurring the line between "natural" products and food that has been grown, processed and properly certified organic under tight federal standards.
"Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence 'organic light,' taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal," said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at Cornucopia.
The Wisconsin-based farm policy research group discovered Target nationally advertised Silk soymilk in newspapers with the term "organic" pictured on the carton's label, when in fact the manufacturer, Dean Foods, had quietly shifted their products away from organics.
Shoppers should be very leery of Target because this isn't the first time the company has been accused of this. In September 2007, the USDA threatened to revoke the organic status of Aurora Organic Dairy, a Colorado farm that supplies Target, and other stores, with milk. I have wondered many times if the organic eggs I purchase for my family really are. As a matter of fact, I have become really leery of organic products from Whole Foods after CEO John Mackey stated that his company sells "a bunch of junk." 
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