Buy Organic, Natural Food labels mislead consumers

Organic foods are required by U.S. federal law to be produced in ways that promote ecological sustainability, without common toxic and genetically engineered ingredients.

-- Beware, as the “100% Natural” label does NOT guarantee that the product is free of toxic pesticides, carcinogenic fumigants and solvent, or genetically modified ingredients. The only label that can give you that peace of mind is the “USDA Certified 100% Organic” label;

-- Many all-natural brands mislead you into thinking you’re buying from a small, environmentally-conscious company, when in fact they’re owned by some of the largest processed food manufacturers in the world;

-- Some companies have engaged in “bait and switch” tactics. They started out organic, and built consumer loyalty as organic brands, then switched to non-organic ingredients, while only changing their label from “organic” to “natural,” and keeping their prices the same;

-- Independent testing by the Cornucopia Institute has shown that several breakfast cereals by manufacturers that market their foods as “natural”—even some that claim to avoid genetically engineered ingredients and are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project—contain high levels of genetically engineered ingredients.

Organic products are increasingly being forced to compete with products that are labelled as "natural."

There are no restrictions on the term "natural", and it often constitutes nothing more than meaningless marketing hype.

According to a recent report from the Cornucopia Institute:

"[There is a] vast differences between organic cereal and granola products and so-called natural products, which contain ingredients grown on conventional farms where the use of toxic pesticides and genetically engineered organisms is widespread.

... Our analysis reveals that "natural" products—using conventional ingredients—often are priced higher than equivalent organic products.

This suggests that some companies are taking advantage of consumer confusion."

This is significant, because surveys have shown that more consumers pay attention to the "100% Natural" claim than the "100% Organic" label. In one such survey, 31 percent of respondents said the "100% Natural" label was the most desirable eco-friendly product claim, compared to just 14 percent who chose "100% Organic." Food companies clearly know this, and they're cashing in on your confusion.


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