Eden Foods: USDA’s Organic label is Bullsh#t.

Via elephant journal
on Feb 4, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

organic label usda eden bad bullshit greenwashing whole foods

Eden Foods: Organic is not Organic.

This is major. This is a shot across the bow of the whole “Green” movement, which as I’ve always said is predicated and dependent on the veracity and integrity of the Organic label. If organic isn’t organic, why should we “conscious consumers” continue to pay more for the Organic USDA seal?

Answer is, we won’t.

Why aren’t more companies complaining? Well, for one, they are: just google “organic label usda bad” or somesuch. But there’s another reason we don’t hear more doubts, I’ll guess: most of the organic foods you and I are buying have been bought up by the man.

I’ll hope for a response in comments from the Organic Center, or other far more knowledgeable and equally concerned citizens.

Picture 739Picture 740

From Eden’s site:

Years before the implementation of the National Organic Program (USDA’s NOP) in October of 2002, Eden got word in 1992 that a national standard for organic was underway. In theory it seemed like a good idea, but early on we had serious concerns.

Petitioning the NOP several times in the rule drafting process, Eden asked that the new national organic standards be a strong minimum standard, allowing growers and companies to certify to a higher standard. The answer was an adamant No: the USDA intended to set one minimum organic standard, it would not allow higher standards to be certified, and total control would lie with USDA.

In the first draft released to the public, the USDA announced its intention to allow food grown in city and industrial sewage sludge, genetically engineered food, and irradiated food to be certified organic. This became infamously known as the ‘Big Three.’ As deafening public outcry caused the USDA to ‘cave,’ Eden issued a press release that the struggle to save organic standards was still very much alive. We recognized the ‘Big Three’ as a common negotiating tactic: Make an offer that is so ridiculously unacceptable that all future offers would seem good by comparison. Our concerns have been realized. Under USDA it has become cheaper and easier for manufacturers to market ‘organic’ food that is not organic by any reasonable definition.

The most serious degradation of national organic standards occurred in October 2005. In a back room deal the Organic Trade Association lobbied Congress to legalize the adulteration of organic food with basically any toxic additive a manufacturer may want to use, including substances that do not need to appear on ingredient panels. More than 400,000 consumers contacted their government representatives asking them not to weaken organic standards in such a way, but agribusiness influences prevailed.

As a result, food bearing the ‘USDA Organic’ seal no longer needs to be natural food.

As a company that has worked for decades alongside salt-of-the-earth organic family farmers to grow and make food by the highest possible organic standards, we cannot in good conscience add a symbol to this food that essentially cheapens it…for the rest, click here.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


One Response to “Eden Foods: USDA’s Organic label is Bullsh#t.”

  1. […] the decision came down from USDA Secretary Vilsack to deregulate the use of “Roundup Ready”, genetically modified […]