By Lila Shapiro
Ever wonder if the organic-labeled milk you’re drinking is really organic? If you purchased it at Target, it might not be. The Cornucopia Institute, a food and agriculture watchdog group, announced Tuesday that it has filed formal complaints with USDA’s organic program accusing Target Corporation of organic food fraud. And in the midst of HuffPost’s No Impact Week no less! From the group’s press release:
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.
This is not the first time Target has been tainted by such accusations. In September 2007, the USDA threatened to revoke the organic status of Aurora Organic Dairy, a Colorado farm that supplies Target, and other stores, with milk.
This has been a big season for organic outrage — after Whole Foods CEO John Mackey declared his store sells “a bunch of junk,” he penned a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed attacking Obama’s health care plan which resulted in activist outrage and a series of boycotts.