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Organic Consumers Association

Silk Soymilk Goes Organic - Kind Of

Editor's Note: OCA welcomes the news that WhiteWave Foods has decided to make changes to their Silk soymilk line so as to stop misleading consumers with so called "natural" versions of a product that look almost exactly like the organic version. To learn more about other companies that are helping to perpetuate this "Myth of Natural," please visit OCA's Myth of Natural Campaign page.

In just over a year's time, WhiteWave Foods has made another switch to its Silk soymilk line.

Consumers may notice changes on grocery store shelves as Dean Food's Broomfield-based WhiteWave Foods announced it now offers only the organic version of unsweetened soymilk instead of both the natural and organic products.

Silk unsweetened organic will be sporting the traditional teal packaging and displaying the USDA's Certified Organic seal to avoid confusion among shoppers and retailers.

Sara Loveday, spokeswoman for WhiteWave Foods, said the decision was based purely on consumer demand and preference.

"I think that as you look at us and other companies, everyone's evaluating their product line and making sure it's optimized," Loveday said.

She said the change is also being made to continue sourcing the company's soybeans from North American farmers. Loveday added that "unsweetened" is one of the best-selling products among shoppers who favor organic.

WhiteWave Foods was accused of misleading consumers in November 2009 when it removed the word "organic" from Silk Vanilla soymilk without changing the packaging, prices or bar codes.

Although Dean Foods said it told distributors to notify retailers, the message didn't go through to some independent grocers.

"We recognize there was some confusion, but that certainly wasn't our intention," Loveday said.

This time around, White Wave Foods has made sure to inform both retailers and distributors of the changes being made.

They are also working on a traceability tool on their Web site, where consumers can enter the Universal Product Code (UPC) and see where the soybeans in their milk were grown. 


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