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Cummins writes: "Walk down the aisles of any Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, or any upscale supermarket and look closely. What do you see? Row after row of attractively displayed, but mostly non-organic 'natural' (i.e. conventional) foods and products. By marketing sleight of hand, these conventional foods, vitamins, private label items, and personal care products become 'natural' or 'almost organic' (and overpriced) in the 'natural' supermarket setting."

What is really behind the labels at Whole Foods? (photo: Getty Images)
What is really behind the labels at Whole Foods? (photo: Getty Images)

Whole Fraud: The Myth of So-Called Natural Foods

By Ronnie Cummins, CounterPunch

11 February 12


n Jan. 31, organic and natural foods giant Whole Foods Market (WFM) once again attacked the Organic Consumers Association, the nation's leading watchdog on organic standards, as being too "hard-line" for insisting that retailers like WFM stop selling, or at least start labeling, billions of dollars worth of so-called "natural" foods in their stores - foods that are laced with unlabeled, hazardous genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.

WFM's most recent attack on OCA predictably backfired, throwing gasoline on the fiery debate surrounding my previous essay "The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto." In that essay, written in January 2011, I criticized WFM and several other well-known organic companies for their foolish (now hopefully repudiated) stance of espousing "co-existence" with the USDA and Monsanto, in exchange for minimal federal regulation of genetically engineered crops.

In subsequent articles OCA has called for an end to "organic infighting" and for the organic industry, farmers, and consumers to join forces and pass laws or state ballot initiatives (like the current campaign in California) that would require mandatory labels on products containing genetically engineered ingredients, as well as to make it illegal to label or market GE-tainted foods as "natural" or "all natural."

Anger is now running so high against Monsanto and the USDA, as well as anyone appearing to tolerate "co-existence" with either group, that rumors are fast spreading that Monsanto has bought out, or plans to buy out, WFM. That rumor is untrue. However, it has focused attention once again on the critical issue of food labeling. WFM, and all of us in the organic community, must put an end to labeling fraud in the "natural" products sector, by passing laws that will require brands and supermarkets to clearly label all genetically engineered ingredients on their products.

Growing awareness has created a strong organic movement

Millions of health-minded Americans, especially parents of young children, now understand that cheap, non-organic, genetically engineered, industrial food is hazardous. Not only does chemical- and energy-intensive factory farming destroy the environment, impoverish rural communities, exploit farm workers, inflict unnecessary cruelty on farm animals, and contaminate the water supply, but the end product itself is inevitably contaminated.

Routinely contained in nearly every bite or swallow of non-organic industrial food are genetically engineered ingredients, pesticides, antibiotics and other animal drug residues, pathogens, feces, hormone-disrupting chemicals, toxic sludge, slaughterhouse waste, chemical additives and preservatives, irradiation-derived radiolytic chemical by-products, and a host of other hazardous allergens and toxins.

If common sense weren't enough, scientists warn us that a public health Doomsday Clock is ticking. Big Biotech and Big Ag are the root cause of 80 million cases of food poisoning every year in the US, as well as an epidemic of allergies, reproductive disorders, food-related cancers, heart attacks, and obesity. Within a decade, these diet- and environment-related diseases - heavily subsidized under our Big Pharma/chemical/genetically-engineered/factory farm system - will likely bankrupt Medicare and the entire U.S. health care system.

Likewise millions of green-minded consumers understand that industrial agriculture poses a terminal threat to the environment and climate stability. A highly conscious and passionate segment of the population is beginning to understand that converting to non-chemical, non-genetically engineered, energy-efficient, carbon-sequestering organic farming practices, and drastically reducing food miles by relocalizing the food chain, are essential preconditions for stabilizing our out-of-control climate and preparing our families and communities for future energy and resource shortages.

Millions of us - consumers, farmers, activists - now realize that unless we act quickly, global warming and climate chaos will soon severely disrupt industrial agriculture and long-distance food transportation, leading to massive crop failures, food shortages, famine, war, and pestilence. Even more alarming, accelerating levels of greenhouse gases (especially from cars, coal, cattle, and related rainforest and wetlands destruction) will soon push global warming to a tipping point that will melt the polar icecaps and possibly unleash a cataclysmic discharge of climate-destabilizing methane, now fragilely sequestered in the frozen arctic tundra.

Thanks to this growing consumer awareness - and four decades of hard work - the organic community has built up a $30-billion "certified organic" food and products sector that prohibits the use of genetic engineering. The rapidly expanding organic/natural products sector - organic (4% of total retail sales) and natural (8%) - now constitutes more than 12% of total retail grocery sales, with an annual growth rate of 10-15%. Even taking into account what appears to be a permanent economic recession and a lower rate of growth than that seen over the past 20 years, the organic and natural market will likely constitute 31-56% of grocery sales in 2020.

This consumer-driven movement, under relentless attack by the biotech and Big Food lobby, and 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. Millions of organic consumers are now demanding food and other products that are certified organic and non-GE, as well as locally or regionally produced, and minimally processed and packaged.

The myth of "natural" remains a threat

As impressive as this $30-billion Organic Alternative is, it remains overshadowed by an additional $50 billion in annual spending by consumers on products marketed as "natural."

Recent polls indicate that many green-minded consumers remain confused about the qualitative difference between products labeled or advertised as "natural," versus those labeled as organic. Many believe that "natural" means "almost organic," or that a natural product is even better than organic.

Walk down the aisles of any Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, or any upscale supermarket and look closely. What do you see? Row after row of attractively displayed, but mostly non-organic "natural" (i.e. conventional) foods and products. By marketing sleight of hand, these conventional foods, vitamins, private label items, and personal care products become "natural" or "almost organic" (and overpriced) in the "natural" supermarket setting.

It's no wonder - and no accident - that consumers are confused. Companies selling these products are simply telling us what we want to hear, so they can charge a premium price.

In fact, all these "natural," "all-natural," and "sustainable," products are neither backed up by rules and regulations, nor a third-party certifier. Most "natural" or conventional products - whether produce, dairy, or canned or frozen goods - are produced on large industrial farms or in processing plants that are highly polluting, chemical-intensive and energy-intensive.

Test these so-called "natural" products in a lab and what will you find? Pesticide residues, Genetically Modified Organisms, and a long list of problematic and/or carcinogenic synthetic chemicals and additives.

Trace these "natural" products back to the farm or factory and what will you find? Climate destabilizing chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and sewage sludge - not to mention exploited farm workers and workers in the food processing industry. Of course there are many products in WFM, Trader Joe's and other natural food retailers that bear the label "USDA Organic." But the overwhelming majority of their products are not.

Perhaps this wouldn't matter if we were living in normal times, with a relatively healthy population, environment, and climate. Conventional products sold as "natural" or "nearly organic" would be just one more example of of chicanery or consumer fraud.

But we are not living in normal times.

Demanding that natural and conventional products and producers make the transition to organic is a matter of life or death. And standing in the way of making this great transition are not only Fortune 500 food and beverage corporations, Monsanto, and corporate agribusiness, as we would expect, but the wholesale and retail giants in the natural products sector as well.

The full transformation to organic begins with us

We cannot continue to hand over 88% of our consumer dollars to out-of-control, biotech, chemical-intensive, energy-intensive, greenhouse gas- polluting corporations and "profit-at-any-cost" retail chains such as Wal-Mart.

We must not allow the "natural" sector to degenerate into a "green-washed" marketing tool that merely disguises unhealthy and unsustainable food and farming practices. We must not allow "natural" to become a green shield for Monsanto and the biotech industry in their quest to take over global agriculture.

Instead, we must demand that the "natural" sector move our nation toward an organic future. How - and how quickly - can we move healthy, organic, and "natural" products from a 12% market share, to becoming the dominant force in American food and farming?

This is a major undertaking, one that will require a major transformation in public consciousness and policy.

But it is doable. And absolutely necessary.

The first step - before we overthrow Monsanto, Wal-Mart, and Food Inc. - is to put our own house in order. That means shopping for certified organic products.

What does certified organic or "USDA Organic" mean? Certified organic means the farmer or producer has undergone a regular inspection of its farm, facilities, ingredients, and practices by an independent third-party certifier, accredited by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). The producer has followed strict NOP regulations and maintained detailed records. Genetically engineered ingredients, synthetic pesticides, animal drugs, sewage sludge, irradiation, and chemical fertilizers are prohibited. Farm animals, soil, and crops have been managed organically. Food can be processed using only approved methods. Ingredients must be on the "allowed" list.

If every one of us pays close attention to the labels on our food - choosing certified organic over "natural" - we can increase demand for organic, sustainable, healthy foods.

Step two? Demand that your local and state legislators pass labeling laws so that all so-called "natural" products move in a "transition-to-organic" direction. Tell your elected officials that you have the right to know what is - and isn't - in your food.

If we all work together, the U.S. will be well on its way to solving three of the nation's most pressing problems: deteriorating public health, climate change, and the energy crisis.

Don't be fooled. Stop buying so-called "natural" products unless you have no other choice. Buy certified "USDA Organic" products today and everyday. Your health and the health of the planet are at stake. And please join the rapidly growing campaign in California and other states to force mandatory labels on GE foods and to make it illegal to label or advertise GE-tainted foods as "natural" or "all natural."

Ronnie Cummins is the co-founder and National Director of the Organic Consumers Association. He is a contributor to Hopelesss: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+39 # RMDC 2012-02-11 18:52
Thanks. This is good. Whole Fraud is taking advantage of the refusal of the USG to label genetically modified food products -- FrankenFood.
+36 # Rick Levy 2012-02-11 19:09
I remember getting fooled by Sun Chips misleading label which gave the impression that it's a wholesome food. But a look a the contents listing revealed that it had no nutritional value. Just jumped up junk food. i
+38 # Kayjay 2012-02-11 20:59
Sadly, this practice of "greenwashing", is all about MONEY. Corporate greed is across the board, and these companies will resort to all sorts of chicanery and slight of hand to make their profits. Whole Foods itself, maybe......a while back, had good intentions and screened what was on their shelves. But now, it seems that ANYTHING goes. As of late, I've seen Pabst Blue Ribbon beer on their shelves. No offense, but since when is PBR organic and safe? If you are really looking for safe foods, be prepared to open your wallet. If food producers really obeyed all safety regulations, the costs would be enormous. It reminds me a lot of when the magnifying glass was waved above the nuclear industry following the tsunami last year. Nuclear operators admitted that they could not make a PROFIT, if they really ran their plants safely. The answer? We need to roll up our sleeves, and plant a few seeds at a local pea patch!
+22 # Majikman 2012-02-12 01:36
"If food producers really obeyed all safety regulations, the costs would be enormous." Au contraire, my dear. It's precisely the adulterated crap in these "food like" substances that are making us sick costing far more than clean, honest, safe food. Of course it would cut into their obscene profits. Big agra is profits before people.
Small family owned farms are what we need to support, not Con Agra etal.
+11 # John Gill 2012-02-12 13:36
I wish you were right, but I have to disagree. I have known a few small organic family farmers. It is actually quite expensive, particularly labor intensive, to do it right. And if you just look at prices, the evidence is there. Is the production of "food like" substances "actually" more expensive? Probably, yes. But corporate welfare subsidies allow the purveyors of poisonous(in the long term) packaged mac n' cheeze dinners to keep the costs to consumers low. The trail, as usual, leads right back to the one percent.
+19 # 2012-02-12 07:42
Buy local;when traveling, buy local and take it home.
+2 # diacad 2012-02-12 08:03
At first this looks like a step in the right direction, but there is no evidence that just because a food is "organic" that it is any better than those not so labelled.

There is no evidence that organic foods are safer or more nutritious. The Mayo Clinic website has an objective evaluation of organic foods, pointing out the pros and cons:

Foods should not be given a "pass" just because they are "organic". We need a much stronger FDA and more stringent inspection of ALL foods and drugs.

The huge price differential in the market (due in part to generated consumer perceptions) between "organic" and ordinary food has attracted agribusiness, and organic factory farms have been on a major growth curve, at least until this latest economic meltdown. That itself is not necessarily bad, but there is a popular myth that organic food comes mostly from small family farms. The majority of organic (as with ordinary) food products come from big farms, and the majority of small farms do not practice "organic" methods.

However, small farms more easily slip under the radar screen of inspection, inadequate though it now is. There is at present a pernicious movement to relax regulations of small farms so that they may become more "competitive". Do we risk public health to keep inefficient producers in business?
+4 # John Gill 2012-02-12 13:24
Very good comment, thanks. Particularly the apparent catch-22 of either relaxing inspection of small farms, or allowing big agro to swallow them all up was very interesting. Food for .sorry about that. :)
+9 # Unity4All 2012-02-12 17:55
Regarding your link to an article that the Mayo Clinic put out about no difference in organic vs. non-organic, it simply cannot be trusted. Their 'study' consisted of looking at 50 scientific articles about comparisons and certainly didn't say who paid for the studies. Half of Mayo funding comes from government, foundations and industry, not to mention questionable benefactors such as Pfizer. The largest ever living donation of $100 M was given last year by Richard O. Jacobson, the founder of Jacobson Companies. Maybe it's just a coincidence that his company "Provides Cost-Effective Warehousing Solutions and Revenue Sharing to Global Leader in Agricultural Chemicals." I'm sure it's just a coincidence!
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 14:26
With prices going up, quality of seeds and land tilled going down, Quality of water/rain. Then size of Corporate misleading, Government allowing them to downsize and price up...You normally get the quantity per price per lb for Organically Grown.

Those who do Organically grow deserve our rubbles compared to the Corporate Killers who care not for land, water, animal or person.
+13 # John Gill 2012-02-12 11:49
Foods labeled "organic" are so expensive compared to those that are not, as to make the purchase of those foods "only," practically out of reach of the average consumer. The movement, which in the 70's, was represented by long-haired back to the landers offering home grown healthy food for less than the chain markets, has actually morphed into big business catering to a little sub group of elites in raw silk and birkenstocks who insist upon organic because they can afford to. No reverse snobbery here, just an observation. Raw silk is a lovely material, We just buy it second hand. Frankly, I think the FIRST step in the right direction is to stop supporting the meat industry. It is also expensive turning completely away from meat, but at least it is within the realm of possibility. When we stop relying on meat as the foundation of our diet, in addition to refusing to participate in a horribly cruel process, we free up the mass of farmland devoted to the production of animal feed. I think this is a far more realistic goal. As long as those offering the organic items to consumers price them out of reach of the masses, organic foods will remain a VERY small percentage of the food available. This is just supply and demand. In the meantime, joining a community garden, or starting one, is a possibility for some people, or, yeah, putting in a small, productive organic garden of one's own to at least supplement one's diet.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 14:37
Again Packaging is allowed by Government for decades to reduce size/quantity for what you are paying. The corporate farms also holds your whatevers saying there are shortages when in fact they are importing a lot of bad food from places who do not regulate at all.
If you go to Natural Food Store or an Organic you are paying $3.99 a pound and getting a pound, sometimes a bit more if doing coop. Now look at the label of the says 3.99 also but you are getting 12 oz not 16 oz. So which is cheaper to feed your family the full weight pound or the underweight package from GM the Monsanto promoter? I will opt for paying for what I am getting

Perhaps just cutting meat, fish etc back. Have meatless days. You can tell fish industry we do not need to overfish, we do not need $30 a # halibut.
I go to local butcher, like my heritage...Meat is freshly butcher. I pay roughly .50 cents more or less but it is local, I know who butchers are and farms, I know that they do not use pesticide grain, or hormones.
I go to s Supermarket, meat has been irradiated, fed who knows, and been around awhile...brown in center means exposed more to oxygen than not, edges goin green well it is a warning sign.
So local butcher or stored old meat from old cows. Same with chicken, I raise my own. At butcher time my hens are 12 plus pounds, skin beautiful yellow...The store meat looks like a old layer to me.
Nothing worth eating, good soup.
+14 # Billsy 2012-02-12 11:50
First we must protect truth in labeling, next we need to end subsidies to crops like corn that keep costs artificially low on unhealthy products like high fructose corn syrup.
+4 # John Gill 2012-02-12 12:24
Just a quick ironic addendum to my earlier post: My wife and I, when discussing this article, laughed when we realized the position "organic" produce actually takes in our low income household these days. If we decide we will have beets and greens as a side vegie for our supper, on returning home from the market you can sometimes hear me say something like,
"Well, I got the beets honey, but they didn't have any nice ones in the regular section, so I "had" to buy "organic."
How funny is that? Well, at 4.00 dollars a pound for organic, compared to the "not organic," at 1.69 a pound, not really funny at all.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 14:41
Local Harvest is a good Community Farm site. It helps you get produce from local, non chemical farmers. There is something if you would do research called Coop buying'I pay $600 a year for veggies. This year from March to December I live in NOrth. I get a full box of veggies that is tooo much for two people so I can, freeze for later.
Make excuses but there are ways to eat locally, and organically cheaply. In fact you can grow your own, in house, apartment. Plenty of sites to show you how. But then you have to make and effort to search!
+10 # lilpat126 2012-02-12 12:42
You have to be proactive. I found out by word of mouth from a co-worker of my daughters that Corn was the cause of unbearable pain in my hands, elbows, and shoulders. It affect my daughters legs. Nothing would relieve the pain until I stopped eating corn and products with derivatives of corn in them. Including high fructose corn syrup that shows up in everything. I do not metabolize it like sugar and I am sure there are millions of others with the same problem. I also avoid white potatoes. We live across from a field where potatoes are planted. First they put chemical fertilizer on the field After the potatoes are up they get a weekly crop
so low overhead that you can feel the prop wash . Then in order to keep up with their schedule, instead of letting the plants die back naturally before harvest they kill the foliage with herbicides. Potatoes are very easy to grow. Many places have community gardens now a days. Grow as much produce as you can. Preserve it in any one of many ways. Dehydrating is great if you are fond of soups. Just throw the dried veggies into the pot of broth and voila soup. Beans are super easy to grow and dry. Look for organic seed catalogs. go to WWW.RARESEEDS.COM for a fabulous catalog that is also a text book on gardening.
+9 # aballiett 2012-02-12 14:24
Hey, have I been snoozing or is it true that it isn't SMALL UNREGULATED FARMS that are poisoning people? I thought it was big agribusiness WHOLESALE farms, most of them are not certified organic. The error of this article is that it pushes people towards USDA certified products which just promotes the problem with food quality for the common man in the USofA. The original non-USDA certified organic movement continues to exist in this country. These are the people who did drop out in the 70s in order to grow totally healthy and safe foods. This is the food you want to buy. This isn't the food that the universities test but when tested this good always rated 30 to several HUNDRED percent more nutritious than supermarket produce. Join an ORIGINAL CSA in your area. Work with them, not against them. Work with them to produce safe nutritious food for a very fair price. If they are farmers from the original CSA movement, that's what they want to do: grow the best food possible for their neighbors. They need to make a living, but they don't want to get rich growing good food. Does this make sense? It's real! Unfortunately, "CSA" has attracted a whole lot of fakes the last few years. The most obvious fakes DO NOT HAVE FARMS they only have vegetables, vegetables that they've bought in from Mexico or god knows where. Meet your CSA farmer, go to the farm, eat some of the soil! Unless you can grow all of your own food, CSA is the best way to produce safe nutritious food for your table.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 14:47
I grow my own but I still take no chances and join CSA thru LocalHarvest. There are plenty of side of road local farmers and farmers markets. When I consider eating, canning/freezin g The price comes out lower than the unhealthy grown. People think the .99 bag of frozen veggie is cheap but not so if you weigh it and then read the small notation of pound weight. Americans are actually paying more for less and unhealthy.
+6 # Unity4All 2012-02-12 17:54
While I appreciate what this article is trying to accomplish and believe that as consumers it's our right to know if our food is GMO, I am not a 'confused' shopper. I read every label of every product I buy and am not "duped" into buying anything just because they put the words 'natural' on it. I grew up on a certified organic farm and the process to become that way wasn't easy (at least 15 years ago, maybe it's changed). Big Ag is what's causing people to become sick, not small farms.

Regarding # diacad’s previous link to an article that the Mayo Clinic put out about no difference in organic vs. non-organic, simply cannot be trusted. Their 'study' consisted of looking at 50 scientific articles about comparisons and certainly didn't say who paid for the studies. Half of Mayo funding comes from government, foundations and industry, not to mention questionable benefactors such as Pfizer. The largest ever living donation of $100 M was given last year by Richard O. Jacobson, the founder of Jacobson Companies. Maybe it's just a coincidence that his company "Provides Cost-Effective Warehousing Solutions and Revenue Sharing to Global Leader in Agricultural Chemicals." I'm sure it's just a coincidence!

Anyhow, follow the money and always buy organic when possible. Support small, local farmers with your last, hard-earned penny, because our future depends on it!
-5 # Above God 2012-02-12 19:36
Whole Fraud is corporate America cashing in on the stupidest consumers on the planet: Organic Food Fanatics. The "organic" food producers use the same active chemical in herbicides and pesticides but w/o the carriers or inert ingredents. Crop dusters have told me this as they spray these so called "organic" fields. Total BS.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 14:51
Afraid they were lying to you or ripping off the farm.
Most of us use safe if any. I use Diemaceous Earth. I can eat it on my plants, fruits so can animals, bees. I use garlic/onion mixes, flowers and herbs.
Perhaps some intelligent reading on our products would enlighten your negativity. You do not have to eat organic, your choice. But I like feeding my family, friends and my animals good food. I also like the fact that I can ask who I buy from and check on them. But then I am not above anyone, I am not a anti everything/one person
+1 # Broger 2012-02-14 10:57
I'm glad that Cummins changed the article to reflect that Organic Valley products were not included in the list of producers that have given up the fight to resist the corporate food additives that are being foisted on us. The GMO based corporations say that if they have to label GMOs on the packaging that it will scare the consumer and they won't buy it. Gee, I wonder why their industry would frighten people? Maybe people are a bit more awake than we think when they're shopping to feed their family.
0 # afrizunk 2012-02-14 11:21
I'm attempting to get an organic natural ingredients product into a few compaines marketing healthy groceries, and the biggest stumbling block is that I'm "small" even though the product assists small growers and is packaged in a nearby Native American pueblo facility. So we are faced with large wholesale grocery companies overlooking the small producer. There are many such obstacles in the way of getting healthy, genuine products on shelves!
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 14:52
Will pray for your success
+1 # Buddha 2012-02-14 13:57
As a PhD in molecular biology, I think it is important for people to understand what GMO really IS. It is simply the insertion of a gene or genes into a plant to give it a characteristic it lacks. This gene is expressed as RNA, which then is translated into production of a protein, just as every active gene in our bodies does every second of every day. Whether that specific protein is "harmful" is questionable, because when ingested, proteins are broken down into short peptides and amino acids in our stomachs. This is VERY different from pesticides, which are not proteins, but instead are synthetic chemicals which aren't broken down as easily and naturally by our bodies. In fact, some of the GMO plants are designed such that they require LESS pesticides, and that is definitely a benefit for our environment. The reality is that with a population on our Earth that is still rapidly growing, and arable land limited, we are going to have to make some hard choices to feed everyone. Thinking that we'll be able to feed 9B people with organic non-GMO non-pesticide farming is a pipe dream, we'll be lucky if we aren't eating Soylent Green in 50 years.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 15:04
We may be now
However, we can grow organic food for everyone. We were better 100 years ago and up to 50's without near the poiisons until one company started lying to sell ddt.

Molecular change. With Diabetes, Obesity on the rise, you believe that it is okay to continue making super corn full of sugar so our kids become Diabetics? You really think Strawberries, Raspberries, Apples need more sugar to be better? While again risking millions of lives with crap.

You think it's okay to put Agent Orange onto seeds because we will never get the affects of it. Well, you do not study topology, rain run off or flooding logically a child knows about rain and puddles...there in lies where those chemicals go. You remember Love Canal? Chemicals=Cance r.
I have been begging Monsanto, Politicians with their families to come and prove all this Fracking,Chemic al Seeds are good for us by sitting down and eating them in front of us. I would invite you also since you are so in touch with Chemicals, there causing no harm.
You could explain why farmers are having problems with the ground, weeds, water since buying into Monsanto bs
I am just glad seeing Europe telling them where to go, Asia suing them.
What we need is Awareness, learning to eat properly. God created this Earth and if we didnot keep destroying it, it would be feeding us. What would Corporations do or Politicians for a salary? Guess there is no alternate energy either?
0 # kyzipster 2012-02-14 15:59
Thanks for your post. Although I'm glad to see some passion behind this issue and I support the need for more regulation in labeling products, I found this article to be confusing. I might accept the risk of a genetically modified vegetable but I like to avoid pesticides and other chemicals. Grouping genetic engineering in with all of the other hazards in the food supply only adds to the confusion.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 15:16
Funny how people are so sure of how these over chemicalized foods are good for us.
Funny how in the 50' and 60's we proved other wise. People not only got ill fomr eating but the wasted vats of chemicals were stored, landfilled so to speak and then the developments happened. Chemicals leached into land, water and people started dying.
Chemical Companies do not know what to do but make harmful chemicals, it is cheap to do, they make billions and we end up with diseases so they can make more chemicals to give doctors to cure us from a disease they started. "Fosomax and its scanner"
We have facts of chemicals, we came a long way proving we could grow mass amounts of good food meat, grains, fruits without any herbicides, pesticides that could not be distributed safely around animals and kids.
Now Republicans want to go back in time and poison water, land and air. I do not know where their kids are goin to be eating but obviously their colonizing may actually be happening now...because these chemicals are worse and War has proven that with Agent Orange.
Local Harvest, local farms and farmer markets are available within short driving distances You can start a co op and buy in bulk, everyone takes their turn going to pickup the order
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-14 15:26
For some ideas on Gardens use your Web, You can grow Veggies, fruits in baskets, containers, bags. The potatoes can be grown in potatoe bags or large cannisters 2 foot around is nice bunch of potatoes couple of them staggered thru spring for fall eating. There is trellis gardening, square foot gardening.
Live in apartment...ask about rooftop, or look around at lots and get community involved. Or look at your windows. In Europe in narrow areas people looked at sun and hung bags out the window, boxes, some of the bags looked like shoe bags, People grew herbs and small veggies and fruits. hanging baskets, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers.
Now they are saying bale of straw is good place to grow seeds, it should be ...I find green grasses growing in mine why not lettuce, carrots?
We want everything given to us, not goin to happen.
We were given a planet with the ability to feed us all from land, water. We selfishly allowed others to abuse that for their greed.
No sniveling you can grow anything you want for your family if you are inventive. No Green thumb...your kids might be luckier. Girl out west had kids dump packets of seed, end of summer they were going door to door selling, then what she did not sell went to poor, seniors. Was in paper, she was one of thousands. Excuses... sure could have used them but instead got together and did something. Now we have good farmers working with us..where have you been?
0 # banichi 2012-02-14 17:17
Good article on the whole, but it would be much better to aim it more specifically at Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farm, and Organic Valley, who were the ones who caved in to Monsanto at the FDA hearings - see the following link:

Trader Joe's hardly deserves to be included in the same crowd, since they never claimed to be an 'organic' store from the start, unlike Whole Foods which made its name on being organic and 'Whole-some'.
0 # disgusted American 2012-02-15 01:49
All well explained but there's a large problem: many people can't afford the high price tags on organic food. So as much as we would like to buy only organic vegetables, organic whole wheat pasta, organic chicken, organic nuts, etc. It's just not possible b/c we also have to heat our homes at $3.80 per gallon - that is about $1,045 to fill a standard size oil tank in the cellar - pay property taxes that keep increasing and all the other utilities.

So the best we can do is avoid the processed garbage, the junk food and pass on the hormone and anti-biotic fed beef, chicken and pork. That leaves some fish, organic eggs when on sale and organic tofu if you can stomach the taste. Most fish is polluted and also high-priced.

So until organic food carries an affordable price tag with it, people are stuck with whatever they can afford.

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