Organic Consumers Association

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Beware! USDA Organic Baby Foods Contain GMO DHA and ARA

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Appetite For a Change page, and our Safeguard Organic Standards page.
I am one of those consumers that assumes USDA certification means more than just growing foods without pesticides and herbicides. I assume that it includes ethical treatment of animals and zero genetically-modified organism (GMO) ingredients.  I know these assumptions are just that, and the latest news from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) confirms it. There are frankenfoods in organic baby food!

The OCA explains:

In 2009, a front page Washington Post article,"Integrity of Federal 'Organic' Label Questioned."explained how Martek Biosciences' synthetic DHA and ARA ended up in organic infant formula. In 2006, National Organic Program staff told Martek that its synthetic DHA and ARA couldn't be used in organic because they were synthetic and not on the National List. But, Martek's lawyer, J. Friedman, was able to get their decision reversed by NOP director Barbara Robinson, with just a call and an email. He told the Washington Post, "I called Robinson up, I wrote an e-mail. It was a simple matter."

The National Organic Program attempted to remedy this situation by requiring Martek to formally ask permission to use its DHA and AHA in organic. The petition came before National Organic Standards board, and surprisingly, the NOSB voted to continue to allow Life'sDHA and Life'sARA in organic.

The NOP and NOSB ignored evidence that Martek's products should never have even been considered for use in organic in the first place. According to patents uncovered by the Cornucopia Institute, all of Martek's DHA and ARA products are produced through genetic engineering, processed with volatile synthetic solvents and microencapsulated, three things that are expressly banned from USDA Organic. 

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