USDA Organic Gone Corporate

April 27, 2015 7 min read

The Broken Seal

Much of the American public interested in consuming foods produced by traditional means with traditional methods have trusted their meals to products with labels bearing the USDA seal of organic certification. These individuals make this selection based off of strict regulations that keep a large number of potentially unsafe or toxic substances out of the final product, and maintain traditional growing standards ensuring GMO-free fruits and vegetables. Supposedly, consuming organically certified foods makes for healthier options, as organic foods are not allowed exposure to toxic chemicals like certain types of pesticides or herbicides.

This trust has lasted for years, with the seal’s expanse reaching from food products to skin-care products, amongst other things like cotton grown for the fabric industry. However, a far more sinister revelation has appeared within the last few years, causing concerned journalists, health bloggers, and other forms of publication interested in the maintenance of high food standards to become aware of how big food corporations have managed to take control over the organic industry. It is not just writers and journalistic investigators either. It also includes food companies truly dedicated to offering organic products, as one has maintained that the seal is faulty.

 

The USDA: Dedicated to Profit

The harvest, production, and sale of USDA certified organic products has grown exponentially over the past several years. Little by little, American citizens have begun to recognize the potential damage that nonorganic crops can do to their bodies, thus causing them to turn to foods labeled with the seal for healthier options. As the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals used on crops expands, so does the market for genetically modified crops that can withstand the chemical pollutants. Therefore, the dangers seem to grow for those consuming fruits and vegetables. Enter the organic option, which supposedly offers a less-tampered-with alternative of no chemicals or GMOs used to make the crops grow.

But as the organic market grew in profitability, big food companies started to get their hands in the money – the same companies that also produce those processed, non-nutritive foods contributing to the rise of obesity in America today. Many of the ‘organic‘ or ‘natural‘ brands available in grocery stores today are owned and operated by  food giants like Kellogg, Pepsi, General Mills, and others – companies that produce foods made from synthetic chemicals and carcinogens or artificial sweeteners. And as the margin for profit grows, so does the potential for slacking on the high standards that brought consumers to these options in the first place.

Monsanto, a company that not only holds a vast monopoly on the food industry, but funds the creation and selling of GMO-crops, is also responsible for the poisoning of the populations with products like Roundup and Agent Orange. Agent Orange, a defoliant, led to illness and genetic disorders in the Vietnam population during the Vietnamese War. Roundup contributes to developments of autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Not to mention the understudied effects of the genetically modified crops themselves, both on humans, animals, and the general environment. With its monopolizing ways and profit-mongering habits, Monsanto would eventually turn its attention to the one frontier of safety that many Americans continue to cling to – the USDA-organic program.

Of course, how could the USDA turn down such potential for power and gain? It has replaced its board members residing over organic certification, piece by piece, with individuals who hold stakes in big food instead of the farmers concerned with the quality of the crops. Monsanto works with virtually no boundaries or labeling system, and has been allowed to put GM crops on the markets without meeting much restriction or adversity from food authorities such as the FDA. No labels are required to allow people to make conscious choices between non-GMO foods and GMO foods, with only seals such as Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Certified ensuring that no GMO or chemical contamination occurred. Now, as the USDA consistently continues to partner with Monsanto in multiple areas, potential contamination of USDA certified organic foods by GM crops is being called into question.

 

The USDA’s Decline

Twenty years ago, in 1995, up to eighty one different independently operated, organic food companies existed in America. One of which, Eden Foods, started by Michael J. Potter, was just beginning to blossom. Most of these individual companies were excited to see some regulations, laws, and a cohesive board keeping track of organic integrity fall into place. It would provide  guidelines and educated advocates to refer to in the name of organic food as a collective. With the introduction of the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990, laws surrounding organic certification and allowed substances fell into place. This would ensure a more formidable labeling system that showed consumers on a visual scale what went into and onto their food before it made it to their table.

However, disenchantment quickly ensued, as Potter of Eden Foods saw behind the thinly veiled cons of this type of regulation. By 1996, Potter saw that the National Organic Program Board was headed in a direction that went against the ideals that ‘organic’ stands for altogether. By this point, the Board was discussing adding synthetic substances to the list of nonorganic substances permitted in organic foods, and usage of GMOs. Thus, Potter took the opposite direction, selecting integrity over a seal representing a false ideal. He maintained his own privately operated corporation, using his own independent organic standards – never once looking back on his decision to forgo on the USDA Certified Organic seal.

As time passed, profits skyrocketed exponentially, and big food companies began buying into the idea of organic. Independent organic food companies were bought out, and organic standards dropped. The list of allowed, nonorganic substances grew, as did the leniency of the Board, since it slowly traded in farmers and independent company heads for people with high-ranking positions at companies like General Mills, corporations who were buying out the independent food companies. By 2005, only fifteen of these independent companies existed – with the rest of them bought out or merged into processed food companies with profits driven by the marketing of unhealthy foods made with non-nourishing ingredients. In 2002, only 77 nonorganic substances were permitted to be added into organic foods for these foods to earn the seal. At current, the list has grown 250 and counting. This list has expanded to include some pesticides.

 

Coexist with The Creators of GMOs

As mentioned before, the USDA had already started discussion on allowing and including GMOs as acceptable forms of organic food about nineteen years ago. Within the past few years, the USDA’s leniency toward potential contamination by Monsanto’s genetically modified crops has expanded and gathered strength. Recent events have revealed that the USDA advocates that organic farmers ‘coexist‘ with farmers tending to genetically modified harvests. Such crops include asparagus, soybeans, corn, and others, with a list that has potential to grow in the not so distant future and include other forms of crops. This means that crops pollinated by insects or wind could exchange pollen, leading to contamination during the pollination process. There is no way to ensure that the pollen of a GM plant will not enter the pollen of an organic plant, thus jeopardizing the integrity of the harvest.

Additionally, mounting evidence suggests that Monsanto has already paved the way for GMO infiltration. The Monsanto Protection Act ensures that the federal court system may not stop sale or production of GMO or GEO foods, regardless of future health issues as they arise. It was implemented in 2013, and while it only lasted a total of six months, it still set the stage for the fact that public safety is of absolutely no concern. Now, the USDA, the main figurehead in the labeling of organic foods, has started to advocate for this ‘coexistence’ between organic and modified crops. And, who do you think often approves the growth, harvest, distribution, production, and sale of such crops? The USDA itself. In fact, USDA recently approved genetically modified apples in February of 2015. Coming from the same organization that sets the standards for organic foods, this makes for a disturbing course of events. And in a country where seventy eight percent of families purchase products either wholly organic or containing organic ingredients, on the grounds of providing safer foods for their children, unlabeled GMOs now in organic foods is fraudulent, false, and tragic.

 

Stay Healthy with Face Naturals

Trust is essential when selecting a company to purchase from. Our company was born out of a health need for our personal family. We believe that people should have a choice in deciding what to put in and onto their body.

We are all about health and this is why we do what we do.

We work hard to provide our clients and customers with trustworthy products made with organic or wildcrafted, nontoxic, GMO-free ingredients. In light of the developments in the organic industry, we feel the need to  separate the terms ‘organic’ and ‘GMO-free’ from each other. We support independent organic companies, like Eden Foods and ourselves, who create their own high standards that go above and beyond the money-mongering habits of the USDA and its faltering regulations in maintaining organic integrity. We urge you not only to search for the seal of the Non-GMO Project Verification in addition to the seal of USDA Certified Organic. Better yet, we recommend you look for other forms of organic verification such as Oregon Tilth or QAI. The USDA is in favor of Monsanto’s corruption, which makes it a less veritable labeling system for organic selections.

If you want to ensure that your products are made from nontoxic, GMO-free, organic or wildcrafted ingredients with no harmful chemicals, then contact us. Provide us with details regarding your skin condition, what you struggle with, what you wish to accomplish, and which products interest you as well. We will direct you to some suitable, safe skin solutions that will help make you healthier from the outside in. We also publish blogs about hot health topics and food-labeling issues to keep you in the know about what you put into your mouth and onto your skin. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus for regular updates from us. We look forward to serving your healthy skin-care needs soon!

 

References


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.