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Dr. Bronner's & OSGATA Quit the OTA, Organic Farmers Assn. Is Formed

A few months after the DARK Act passed, which many in the industry called a massive betrayal of organic by the Organic Trade Association, the fallout continues.

As I shared the news on Facebook recently, Dr. Bronner’s, one of the leading and most vocal GMO-labeling advocates in the country, has quit the Organic Trade Association in protest.

On its website, the company released this statement:

Dr. Bronner’s, North America’s leading natural brand of soap and organic body care products, has resigned from the Organic Trade Association, citing the association’s betrayal of the consumer-led GMO labeling movement, and general drift away from the core principles that drive the organic movement. The OTA compromised their initial position of opposition to the DARK Act and lent the crucial support that allowed anti-labeling legislators to push that same legislation through the Senate and be signed into law by President Obama this summer.

David Bronner, the company’s CEO, wrote a lengthy piece in The Huffington Post on August 3rd explaining his take on the entire situation. And with the company no longer supporting the OTA, it “has pledged to instead use its organizational resources to help power consumer, farmer and industry organizations that more authentically and courageously represent the vision of regenerative organic agriculture, versus the disaster of soil destroying industrial agriculture.”

Dr. Bronner’s quitting the OTA was hardly the only fallout.

Nature’s Path, another incredibly dedicated GMO-labeling advocate, resigned from the OTA board of directors. And for those keeping score at at home, this is the second time that Nature’s Path has quit the OTA board of directors. The first time was more than five years ago.

OSGATA, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, withdrew its membership from the OTA, citing “OTA’s duplicity towards organic farmers and consumers”.

More than 60 groups have called on members of the Organic Trade Association to cancel their membership in the OTA. These groups include many of the leading organic consumer non-profits including the Center for Food Safety, Organic Consumers Association, Food Democracy Now!, Cornucopia Institute, and Food & Water Watch, among many others.

Yet, one of the most interesting developments over the past few weeks has been the announcement of the Organic Farmers Association.