Breaking news: Organic label fraud at factory farms

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chicken factory(NaturalHealth365) In one of the largest investigations of fraud in the organic food industry’s history, a formal complaint has been filed by farm policy research group, The Cornucopia Institute. This complaint states that 14 factory farms – producing meat and dairy products – are conducting business with illegal organic certification.

The Cornucopia Institute discovered through aerial photography that these farms were not operating to organic standards, but using standard industrialized farming procedures instead. There was no access to grazing for the animals, as must be the case with organic meat and dairy. There was not even access to the outdoors for the animals – which is another requirement for the organic label.

Major food producers are getting away with animal abuse and criminal behavior

These animals were being treated no differently than animals on non-organic farms. Thus, the meat and dairy produced by these farms cannot be considered organic at all.  As a result, uneducated consumers pay ‘organic prices’ for nothing.

The Cornucopia Institute published their aerial photographs on their website for everyone to see. The photos and subsequent investigations by the Cornucopia Institute make it clear that none of the animals on these farms were being treated as they must under federal law to receive organic certification.  In reality, shoppers who purchase meat and dairy produced on these farms thinking they were buying food produced at a ‘healthier’ and more ‘ethically-based’ business operation – but they’re really being deceived.

Bottom line, health-conscious consumers are eating food that is in direct opposition to their own personal ethics and health choices.

Don’t buy any food from these fraudulent food companies

The WhiteWave and Aurora labels have lost their organic certification by the USDA, and investigations into these companies are still ongoing. These are companies that purchased their meat and dairy products from the farms in question.

However, other farms that have been perpetuating this organic fraud and the companies that use them have yet to have any sanctions imposed against them or investigations done on them. This lack of action puts small, ethical family farms and farmers who are competing with the big corporate factory farms at a distinct disadvantage in the marketplace.

This discovery raises the question of whether or not this problem is confined only to the 14 farms in question, or if it is a part of a larger problem. The USDA has not been quick to investigate allegations of impropriety on supposedly organic farms, and has also not been strict in enforcing the letter of the law, as well as the intent and spirit of the law, in regards to organic labeling standards.

Once again, government-run health agencies – funded (in part) with our money – fail to protect us from harm.

Big food producers underestimate the intelligence (and power) of the people

The best thing conscious consumers can do – right now – is research and learn everything you can about your food choices. There are many places, online, where you can go to look into various so-called organic companies to see where they source their food, and to what standards those sources operate. Learn about the best companies from website like Organic Consumers Association, Institute for Responsible Technology and The Cornucopia Institute – to name a few.

If you have any doubt about the integrity of an organically-labeled food – don’t buy it. Spend your money wisely by getting to know your local farmer; join a community supported agriculture (CSA) group or grown your own food.

Don’t forget – your purchasing dollar can send a powerful message to major food producers.  Don’t settle for less – know more about your food, support genuine organic farming practices and protect your health.


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  • Douglas T

    It appears that everyone has good reason to be wary of these kinds of labels. This problem is found in other types of product deception. In fact an FDA analysis of 461 products with “gluten-free” labels were found not to be “gluten-free”.

  • Wendy Bays

    It seems likely the FDA is allowing the divisions of organic vs. factory farm products to be muddied.

  • reggie

    Tom Vilsak head of the USDA is a mon(san)to friend since his governor days or before