Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

The “Organic” Label Again Finds Itself In Hot Water

New research indicates that foods with the "organic" label may not be as pesticide-free as you might hope.

A pile of heirloom tomatoes

Photo: Chiot's Run (Flickr)

The Washington Post recently published an article saying that many organic labels may not mean what we think

organictomats

The Washington Post published a revealing story this week about the “organic” label on foods and other items, more or less showing that a lot of the labels may not indicate what you might think.

More staggering is the information in the article about organics for babies – who honestly wants to trick parents into possibly harming their babies?

Well, in some situations, products were shown to not fit the requirements for the label, but lobbying allowed for the labels to stay. As usual, many of these deceptions come down to dollar signs:

Relaxation of the federal standards, and an explosion of consumer demand, have helped push the organics market into a $23 billion-a-year business, the fastest growing segment of the food industry. Half of the country’s adults say they buy organic food often or sometimes, according to a survey last year by the Harvard School of Public Health.

But the USDA program’s shortcomings mean that consumers, who at times must pay twice as much for organic products, are not always getting what they expect: foods without pesticides and other chemicals, produced in a way that is gentle to the environment.

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Cory Barker

Cory Barker is a summer intern for Earth Eats and senior IU student from Hartford City, Indiana. He is double majoring in journalism and communication and culture with a minor in business.

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