Organic food products are increasingly popular, and are one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy. Thus, it isn’t surprising that some of the leading food corporations are buying out many famous organic brand named items. Corporate agriculture is sleeping with the USDA; they keep each other happy and paid, and gladly work together in promoting more efficient, larger food production yields.
I used to get a small satisfaction in making a conscious effort to buy organic foods; however, I have come to realize I am buying from the brands I was aiming to boycott: Nestle, Kellogg, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, M&M Mars, General Mills, Heinz, etc. I was completely ignorant to the fact that I was perpetuating the corporate control of these money hogs. Somewhere, in the smallest print possible, these massive corporations’ names must have been hiding.
I resent the lack of transparency; the credibility of these brands is significantly lowered in my opinion. One of the organic industry’s lobby groups, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), gets most of its funding from giant agribusinesses, as they work to undermine the reliability of the organic trade movement. The OTA is supposed to be working for safe foods advocacy and ethical consumerism, yet many of the board members are also heads or leading members of food corporations. Also run by many corporate businessmen, the USDA’s leading members are executives of Monsanto (see the below Venn Diagram).
Most of the funding of the OTA, and a large percentage of members of both the OTA and the UDSA, are from giant corporate agribusinesses. Again, I want reiterate the inseparable, symbiotic relationship between large food corporations and our government agencies. With the majority of funds stemming from large agriculture businesses, government food agencies need to keep the corporate franchises happy. Thus, the wants and needs of large agribusinesses are thrust into our government food regulations.
At all costs these corporations grow larger, fulfilling their goals, while impacting the integrity of organic labels. In lowering the standards for organic certifications, they risk the health of citizens and lose credibility. Plenty of exploitation exists on the Internet regarding the powerful agribusiness lobbyists’ influences on the USDA’s enforcement actions. I have decided to place my trust in small, local farms, instead of in the greedy hands of corporate persons. Let’s support the interest and well being of the consumer, instead of the capital and commercial interest of the corporate world.