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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Organic Traitors

There’s nothing worse than being betrayed by one of your own—unless you’re betrayed by more than one of your own.

While pretending to work on behalf of consumers who want mandatory GMO labeling laws, some of the “big names” in the organic industry actually helped cut a backroom deal on the Roberts-Stabenow bill, a bill that isn’t mandatory, doesn’t require actual labels, and exempts the most common GMO ingredients.

The growing list of Organic Traitors includes the head of Whole Foods Market, Walter Robb; Gary Hirschberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Farm and the pseudo-pro GMO labeling group Just Label It; the Environmental Working Group, represented by Scott Faber, former head lobbyist for the pro-biotech Grocery Manufacturers Association; UNFI, the largest wholesaler of natural and organic foods; and the OTA, led by “natural” brands such as Smuckers and White Wave, and represented by their Board Chair Melissa Hughes from Organic Valley.

These self-selected “Good Food” and “Organic” leaders told Congress members behind closed doors that the organic community would accept an industry-crafted DARK Act “compromise"—the Stabenow/Roberts bill— which eliminates mandatory GMO labeling and preempts the Vermont law with a convoluted and deceptive federal regime for QR codes and 1-800 numbers, exempts the most common GMO ingredients, comes with no firm guidelines for implementation, and no provisions whatsoever for enforcement. 

In fact, by some calculations, the Organic Trade Association alone persuaded 7 – 10 Senators to betray you, and vote for the DARK Act.

That’s right, while you were working your hearts out to get labels on GMO foods, the Organic Traitors were working just as hard—to make sure you don’t.

Read Ronnie’s essay 

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