I serve on the board of directors of my local food co-op. We have several times discussed trust. The trust that our members put in the staff and management to “pre-screen” all the food that is on our shelves. Many, as one member recently told us, people shop there thinking that they don’t have to read labels because they assume that we have weeded out the GMOs and other stuff that is bad for you and are not stocking or selling it. That is sadly not the case but with the revamping of the purchasing policy committee it may soon become closer to reality.
I, however, am a compulsive label reader and since I had the inside story that not everything in the store is pre-screened I often took a look at the labels of things I bought trusting, foolish me, that labels don’t lie. Newman-O’s are one of my favorite treats and I have purchased them often. Never did I notice that the canola oil did not say “organic canola oil.”
Well, we all know from our long fight against GMOs that no conventional canola oil in the country is GMO-free. If you want non-GMO canola oil you have to buy organic and that is getting tougher and tougher to find because our friend Monsanto has managed to pretty thoroughly contaminate all the canola seed in the country with the genetically manipulated crap.
So here is a heads up from Cornucopia News. Read it and weep. And then might I recommend that you do what I plan to do: stop buying all Newman’s Own products in protest. Once again my purchased food options shrink. Hell of a thing!
Have You Been Defrauded? Help Bring Organic Scammers to Justice
June 27th, 2013
Have you been duped? Ever purchased Newman’s Own Organics or Organic Bistro Products?
Have you purchased Newman’s Own Organics or Organic Bistro food products? If so, you may have been deceived into buying food that is not actually certified organic.
We are investigating claims that certain companies are getting away with using the word ‘organic’ in their company name, listed prominently on food packages, even if the product they’re selling isn’t certified organic and does not legally qualify as organic.
As an example, not all Newman’s Own Organics products are actually certified organic. Newman’s Own Organics Newman-O’s cookies contain conventional canola oil and conventional cocoa. Their ginger cookies are made with conventional ginger.
Similarly, Organic Bistro (in the process of being rebranded ‘Artisan Bistro’) sells frozen entrees made with some organic vegetables, but uses non-organic chicken and turkey (the number one ingredient by weight in some of their products).
The law is clear: in order to prominently label products “organic” on the front panel, a company must have between 95% and 100% organic ingredients (the balance being minor materials that have been checked for safety and are not available in organic form). If some certified organic ingredients are used (a minimum of 70%), the label can (in modest size typeface) claim “made with organic vegetables,” as an example.
We like to say that, “There is a higher power, in terms of watchdogging the integrity of organics, than the USDA.” And that is you – the organic consumer.
So today (7/1/13) in my email is this clarification (I wrote back, thanked her for the clarification, and noted that the theme of my post was the breaking of trust and the damage to the “organic” label):
It is important to note here that the complaint we have with Newman’s is that the word “organic” is not permitted on the front of the package if it is only 70% organic or made with some organic ingredients only. If the product is “made with organic ingredients” it means that the remaining 30% follow certain rules, including no GMOs, no irradiation, no sewer sludge and only ingredients approved by the National Organic Standards Board.
Newman’s Organics has sneaked around the issue of not being able to put the word organic on the front of the package by including it in their brand name—a dirty trick. You are not eating GMO products in Newman O’s, but you are not getting a 100% organic product, as the name of the company (Newman’s Organic’s) implies.
I hope this helps,
Associate Membership Coordinator
The Cornucopia Institute