Know the difference: 'Natural' foods are not organic, often contain GMOs and other toxins
by: Jonathan Benson
The continued growth of the certified-organic products sector truly is revolutionizing the modern food system in many positive ways, and changing the way people view food and health. But along with this positive growth has come the not-so-positive growth of a highly-deceptive, unregulated "natural" products sector which churns out food and personal care products that are oftentimes loaded with toxic chemicals, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and many other distinctly conventional additives that health-conscious individuals are seeking to avoid.
Many NaturalNews readers will recall our story on the shocking breakfast cereal report released by the Cornucopia Institute last fall that exposed many popular "natural" breakfast cereals as containing GMOs, pesticide and herbicide residues, and other toxins (http://www.dreddyclinic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22868&f=21
). Well, it turns out that the problem is not isolated to just breakfast cereals, as all sorts of "natural" products contain the same unwanted ingredients and additives as conventional products -- and yet these "natural" varieties are being sold to consumers at a premium as if they were something special.
To add insult to injury, many popular natural and organic retailers like Whole Foods Market continue to sell these GMO-laden, pesticide-contaminated "natural" products to unsuspecting customers who believe such products are healthier than their conventional counterparts. The truth is, many of these "natural" products are exactly the same as conventional products, but have simply been dressed up in "green" packaging to fool customers.Why mandatory GMO labeling is absolutely vital to preserve the future of organics
As we have pointed out on many prior occasions, Whole Foods Market has done much good in advancing the causes of local food systems and certified-organic food production. But one area where the company continues to fail as far as transparency is concerned is in the area of "natural" products -- Whole Foods Market refuses to voluntarily require full-disclosure of the GMO-laden products it sells.
Sure, it has implemented the Non-GMO Project verification system for its 365 Everyday Value and 365 Organic product lines, which is commendable. But as stated in a recent blog response by customer inquiry specialist Libba Letton to criticism about the other brands its sells that may contain GMOs, Whole Foods Market denies that GMO labeling is effective, and instead insists that labeling non-GMO products is preferred (http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2012/02/gmo-monsanto-buyout-rumors-untrue/
This reasoning, of course, appears to be in the best interests of Whole Foods Market's bottom line rather than in the interests of customers. And apart from any legal mandate, whether at the local, regional, or statewide level, Whole Foods Market and the others will likely never voluntarily label GMO-contaminated products.
Trader Joe's, another popular natural and organic retailer, states on its website that all private-label products in the store "are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients," which is one step above Whole Foods Market. But Trader Joe's still sells many "natural" products that may contain pesticide residues and other conventional food-system additives and contaminants that health-conscious individuals intend to avoid when purchasing supposedly "natural" products.
Without a GMO labeling mandate that requires full-disclosure, and that prohibits "natural" products from containing GMOs, the phony "natural" products sector will only continue to flourish at the expense of the certified-organic products sector. This is why it is crucial to fight for mandatory GMO labeling requirements in every town, city, and state across the country to ensure our continued access to clean, truly-organic food and personal care products.
To learn more about how to fight the growth of imitation "natural" products and preserve the integrity of the certified-organics sector, visit:http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_24844.cfm