Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
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  • When new moms buy baby formula labeled “organic” they expect that product to actually meet USDA organic standards.

    But if you bought the “Premium Organic” infant formula sold by The Honest Co., you were deceived—because that product contains synthetic ingredients that are not allowed under federal law.

    In April, the Organic Consumers Association sued the Honest Co., founded by celebrity Jessica Alba, for duping consumers by falsely labeling some of its infant formula products as organic after learning that the products contained synthetic ingredients that under federal law are not allowed in organics.

    In fact, of the 40 ingredients in the “Organic” Infant Formula, more than a quarter (11) are synthetic substances that are not allowed in organic products. The prohibited synthetic ingredients include: sodium selenite, taurine, ascorbyl palmitate, calcium pantothenate, choline bitartrate, cholecalciferol, beta-carotene, biotin, dl-alpha tocopherol, inositol, phytonadione.

    Not only are these synthetic ingredients prohibited under USDA organic standards, but some of them ingredients are federally regulated as hazardous compounds. At least one is irradiated.

    TAKE ACTION: Tell Jessica Alba and Honest Co.: No Fake Organic Baby Formula!

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  • August 27, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association

    Consumer and Animal Protection Advocates Allege Eggs Do Not Meet Consumer Expectations

    OCA, along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and The Richman Law Group, filed a lawsuit against egg retailer Handsome Brook Farm. The lawsuit alleges Handsome Brook Farm has been selling eggs labeled as “pasture raised” that fall far short of consumer expectations for this term—thus violating the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act. The misleading labels also undercut the market for truly pasture-raised eggs.

    “There is raised awareness about the treatment of animals in the food industry, and consumers are willing to pay higher prices for more humane eggs,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “It is vital that labels accurately represent the products, so that consumers know what they are supporting with their dollars.”

    “Consumers have the right to expect that food labels will accurately reflect the ingredients and the production methods described by those labels,” said OCA International Director Ronnie Cummins. “When corporations make false claims on their packaging, consumers are deceived, and honest producers are cheated. It’s our job to call them out on behalf of consumers.”

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  • August 24, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association

    General Mills claims that its Nature Valley granola bars are “Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats.” Given that claim, and given that there are no commercially grown genetically engineered oats (at least, not yet), you’d naturally expect Nature Valley granola bars to be free of glyphosate, right?

    You would be wrong. Testing by an independent laboratory reveals that Nature Valley granola bars do indeed contain glyphosate, the key (and cancer-causing) ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.  

    We thought you’d like to know. We also thought you’d agree that General Mills should be forced to stop deceiving you and millions of other consumers.

    So today, OCA and our allies, Beyond Pesticides and Moms Across America, sued the junk food giant and its Nature Valley subsidiary for violating the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (“DC CPPA”), D.C. Code §§ 28-3901, et seq. by making “false and misleading representations and omissions” about its Nature Valley products.

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  • The factory farm industry is so full of bad actors it’s tough to say who’s the worst.

    But Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) surely belongs at or near the top of the list.

    Besides Tyson’s well-documented animal abuse record, its callous disregard for the safety of its employees, and its role as one of this country’s worst polluters, Tyson is also actively lobbying to prevent Congress from passing legislation that would provide basic protections for the farmers who raise the animals, under contract, destined for Tyson’s processing plants.

    Why? So Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson can protect his billions in profits.

    Over the years, Tyson’s farmers’ incomes have dropped, while Tyson has been feathering his nest thanks to higher and higher profit margins.  Tyson doesn’t even pay farmers enough to meet their operating costs. Of growers whose sole source of income is chicken farming, 71 percent of are living below the poverty line.

    New but yet-to-be-enacted rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act would help protect farmers who supply chicken to Tyson. But if Tyson has its way, those rules will never see the light of day.

    Take Action: Tell Congress to stop the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act!

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  • August 9, 2016
    Organic Consumers
    by Martha Rosenberg

    Americans love shrimp. On average, we consume about 4.10 pounds of it a year, compared with only 2.8 pounds of canned tuna and 1.84 pounds of salmon. Most of that shrimp is imported from countries in Southeast Asia, where it’s produced using chemicals and drugs not approved in the U.S.

    Shrimp may be the most popular seafood in the U.S. But would we eat as much of it if we fully understood the food safety, environmental and ethical issues associated with its production?

    Like contemporary factory farm meat production, shrimp farming has become intensive. Shrimp are crowded into small ponds. Because the water in those ponds typically is not re-circulated, harmful waste builds up, oxygen is depleted and disease breaks out. To combat disease, fish farmers often turn to the excessive use of antibiotics. 

    It isn’t just the shrimp itself that’s questionable. Shrimp production in Southeast Asia is rife with worker abuse and of local farmland—which means destruction of local livelihoods. 

    What should consumers look for? There are some third-party certifications consumers can turn to for guidance. But when it comes to shrimp—whether from a store or a restaurant—it’s buyer beware.

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  • The Millions Against Monsanto Campaign was started by OCA in the mid 1990s to fight back against Monsanto and the other Biotech Bullies responsible for poisoning our food and environment.

  • Protect bees and other pollinators by choosing organic food, grown without toxic insecticides, and by planting bee-friendly gardens.

  • Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.  

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