Major Retailer Accused of Organic Improprieties
A public interest group that focuses on food and agriculture, The Cornucopia Institute, announced this week that it had filed formal complaints with the USDA's organic program, and Wisconsin and Minnesota officials, alleging that Target Corporation has misled consumers into thinking some conventional food items it sells are organic.
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. Click here to read more.