The Organic Consumers Association made this criticism today regarding the degrading of an organic standard. I do not disagree with their commentary; however, I also do not agree that some "governing body" should be setting the rules. I trust and follow the leadership and advice of the Dirt Doctor and the collective opinions of this community.
Here's what the OCA said today:
After four decades of hard work, the organic community has built up a $25 billion "certified organic" food and farming sector. This consumer-driven movement, under steady attack by the biotech and Big Food lobby, with little or no help from government, has managed to create a healthy and sustainable alternative to America's disastrous, chemical and energy-intensive system of industrial agriculture.
However, the annual $50 billion natural food and products industry is threatening to undermine the organic movement by flooding the marketplace with conventional products greenwashed with "natural" labeling. "Natural," in the overwhelming majority of cases, translates to "conventional-with-a-green-veneer." Natural products are routinely produced using pesticides, chemical fertilizer, hormones, genetic engineering, and sewage sludge. "Natural","all-natural," and "sustainable," products in most cases are neither backed up by rules and regulations, nor a Third Party certifier. These are label claims that are neither policed nor monitored. For an evaluation of eco-labels see the Consumers Union Eco-Label website.
* Tests Show Widespread Presence of GMOs in So-Called "Natural" Foods
* So-Called "Natural" (non-organic) soy milk, including leading brands such as "Silk," are made with conventional soy lecithin, utilizing the hazardous chemical, Hexane, as an extraction agent.
* Dozens of "natural" and "made with organic" personal care and household cleaning products contain known carcinogens such as 1,4 Dioxane. Just about the only personal care products you can trust are those bearing the "USDA Organic" label.
* 90% or more of the vitamins and supplements now on the market labeled as "Whole Foods," "natural" or "food based" are spiked with synthetic chemicals.
Despite the massive popularity and demand for certified organic products, retailers like Whole Foods Market, and wholesalers like United Natural Foods Inc., continue to push "natural" products at a premium price, while, in effect slowing down the growth of organics with their near market monopoly. In fact, the majority of products sold and distributed by Whole Foods Market and UNFI are not certified organic, but rather so-called "natural." Meanwhile, independent and cooperative grocers often offer more certified organic products at competitive prices.