‘Organic Watergate’ And Big Food’s Supersized Influence


Listen to this excellent story on Here and Now about the hijacking of organic foods. Brands like Cascadian Farms channel a bucolic, pure, local vibe, right? Not exactly. The mom-and-pop-sounding company is owned by food giant General Mills.

Here’s the intro to the piece “Has USDA Organic Label Been Corrupted?”

Organic food is now a $30 billion a year industry, and you may be surprised to know that the brands Bear Naked, Wholesome and Hearty and Kashi are all owned by Kellogg’s. Pepsi Co. owns Naked Juice.

A recent report from the organic food advocacy and watchdog group The Cornucopia Institute contends that big food companies are corrupting organic foods.

The New York Times also had a recent article looking into how large food corporations may be changing organic foods.

The Cornucopia Institute is especially critical of the system for determining what gets the USDA organics seal, as is Michael Potter, founder of the independent organic food producer Eden Foods. Potter has refused to put the USDA’s “certified organic” seal on his products because he says it’s a fraud.

And here’s Cornucopia’s full “Organic Watergate” report about corporate influence on the USDA’s national organic program.