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Organic Consumers Association

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When 'Organic' Food Isn't

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, and our The Myth of Natural page.

Sales of organic foods have climbed for the past decade, outpacing the growth of their conventional counterparts, as consumers paid a premium for food they saw as safer, higher quality and more environmentally friendly.

But at the same time demand for organics was growing, some of the companies producing organic food were quietly reducing their use of organic ingredients. This happened for a variety of reasons, including rising commodity prices and, in some cases, new corporate parents strongly rooted in conventional food processing.

The switch from organic to non­organic ingredients hasn't always been apparent to customers - or even to the retailers selling them.

In the most recent case to come to light, many consumers across the country have been scooping Golden Temple granola from bulk bins and buying boxes of Peace Cereal thinking the products are made with mostly organic ingredients, when they haven't been for years, according to an organic foods industry watchdog group.

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