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Thread: The big sellout -- Majority of organic companies owned by mega corporations

  1. #1

    Exclamation The big sellout -- Majority of organic companies owned by mega corporations

    The big sellout -- Majority of organic companies owned by mega corporations

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 by: Carolanne Wright

    One of the most beneficial aspects of the Yes on 37 campaign is the transparency it created regarding seemingly 'natural' and organic brands. Mega conglomerates like Dean Foods, Coca Cola, Hain, Kraft, PepsiCo and Heinz have gobbled up most of the organic food industry, leaving little to spare -- spawning the term 'Big Organic.' These very same companies have a track record of destroying healthy food through industrial, genetically modified and conventional farming practices. The bottom line for these corporations -- profit, plain and simple. While they take their share of the $30 billion-a-year organic food industry, small and true organics are laid to waste.

    Insatiable appetite for profit driven organics
    Over the last decade, the natural and organic food industry has become very lucrative for big business. A form of greenwashing, corporations such as Hain Celestial buy up small organic companies, then hide behind bucolic-sounding labels like Health Valley and Walnut Acres. Or worse, conglomerates like Dean Foods snapping up the Silk brand in 2002 and immediately reducing sustainable ingredients. This behemoth also bought Horizon Organic in 2004 and soon after began purchasing dairy from suppliers operating factory farms. The demand for organics has apparently compromised the entire industry by attracting profit hungry corporations. See the infographic here for a list of all the organic and 'natural' companies that have been swallowed up by conglomerates.

    To make matters more appalling, the National Organic Standards Board is controlled by members from big business who do not necessarily hold the consumers best interests at heart. Keep in mind this is the board that wields considerable power over the organic industry -- choosing whether an ingredient can be included in certified organic products or not. The board is supposed to represent the "diversity of the American public and of organic agriculture," according to the National Organic Program. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. The standards board is filled with members who strive to represent their specific interest groups and vote with bias. Consider Katrina Heinze, an executive at General Mills who was selected to serve as consumer representative in 2005. General Mills is famous for promoting nanotechnology and genetic engineering -- not exactly a stunning organic model. Or take Ms. Beck, who is the national organic program manager at Driscoll's and has a board seat as a 'farmer.' The problem is, Beck is not a farmer. But she does have special interests. Evidently, this is all that is needed to gain board influence.

    The last holdouts
    Sadly, only a few truly independent organic companies remain. Examples include: Eden, Nature's Path, Cedarlane and Organic Valley. For a full list, click here.

    With the failure of Prop. 37, American consumers cannot rely on the government for food transparency or safety. It is up to us. By purchasing produce from local organic farms, supporting independent organic companies and boycotting 'Big Organic,' we can make a difference by casting votes with our dollars and our forks.

    Sources for this article include:

    "Has 'Organic' Been Oversized?" Stephanie Strom, New York Times, July 7, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://www.nytimes.com

    "The Defeat of Prop 37 Means Go Back To Voting With Your Fork" Sayer Ji, Wake-Up World, November 9, 2012. Retrieve on November 13, 2012 from: http://wakeup-world.com

    "Big Food Behemoths Embarrass Their Organic Offshoots" Jim Hightower, Truth-Out, October 10, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://truth-out.org

    "Big Organic Joins Monsanto in Fighting Prop 37" Corey Hill, East Bay Express, September 12, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://www.eastbayexpress.com

    "Organic Food Industry Bought Up by Corporations Like Coca-Cola" Anthony Gucciardi, Natural Society, April 3, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://naturalsociety.com

    "Who Owns Organic?" Cornucopia Institute. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

    "The Stories (And Money) Behind 10 of Your Favorite Organic and Natural Brands" Vanessa Barrington, EcoSalon, October 28, 2009. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://ecosalon.com

    About the author:
    Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.

    Follow on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Thrive_Living

    Read her other articles on Natural News here:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/Author1183.html
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens



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  3. #2
    I'm glad I buy from the Amish!

  4. #3
    Should it be considered bad that corporations are producing and selling more products- getting them to more people- vs continuing with the factory style farms and ranches and feedlots for everything?


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    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Should it be considered bad that corporations are producing and selling more products- getting them to more people- vs continuing with the factory style farms and ranches and feedlots for everything?
    More product at what price? It's a moral question.
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  6. #5
    Kashi and Cascadian Farms were sell-outs last I checked. I'm sure there's plenty more.
    Those who want liberty must organize as effectively as those who want tyranny. -- Iyad el Baghdadi

  7. #6
    This consolidating of companies bothers me with ALL fields, not just food. I am amazed and astounded at how many companies there are around that were once locally owned but have been sold to some mega company from who knows where.

    I try to avoid those companies whenever I can. For example the grocery store where I do 98% of my grocery shopping is owned by a guy who lives less than a mile from me. I buy honey from a locally owned store who sells honey from my own county. The bike shop is owned by a sole proprietor who darn near lives there. My shoe store is not a franchise.

    Unfortunately, most of the products these locally owned stores offer ARE from who knows where....china, a lot...

    I'm not opposed to my grocery store getting bananas from Honduras or wherever, but I am in favor of not surrendering the bulk of control over food and other products or services and its sources.

    Next season, my garden will be larger than it has been in the past, about 4,000 sq ft. I plan to can and dehydrate a bunch, freeze some, and sell what I can to my primary business customers. Saturday I'll be back in rabbit-raising mode, and next spring I'll add chickens....
    Last edited by Tod; 11-15-2012 at 10:50 PM.
    "Sorry, fellows, the rebellion is off. We couldn't get a rebellion permit."

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tod View Post
    This consolidating of companies bothers me with ALL fields, not just food. I am amazed and astounded at how many companies there are around that were once locally owned but have been sold to some mega company from who knows where.

    I try to avoid those companies whenever I can. For example the grocery store where I do 98% of my grocery shopping is owned by a guy who lives less than a mile from me. I buy honey from a locally owned store who sells honey from my own county. The bike shop is owned by a sole proprietor who darn near lives there. My shoe store is not a franchise.

    Unfortunately, most of the products these locally owned stores offer ARE from who knows where....china, a lot...

    I'm not opposed to my grocery store getting bananas from Honduras or wherever, but I am in favor of not surrendering the bulk of control over food and other products or services and its sources.

    Next season, my garden will be larger than it has been in the past, about 4,000 sq ft. I plan to can and dehydrate a bunch, freeze some, and sell what I can to my primary business customers. Saturday I'll be back in rabbit-raising mode, and next spring I'll add chickens....

    I couldn't agree more. +rep
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  9. #8
    Liberty movements, in all forms, become co-opted by big money interests. Only through vigilance can we see through the veil.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    More product at what price? It's a moral question.
    There is nothing immoral about charging whatever the market will bear for a product or service. There is nothing unsavory about profit - even HUGE profit. That is how the market brings more resources to meet rising demand. What did you THINK would happen when the demand for organics increased?

    There is a very disturbing anti-capitalist/anti-liberty theme in this article and this post.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  12. #10
    There are thousands of small farms across the country that will sell "real" organic food, they don't advertise and most are not on the internet.

    None that I'm aware of take credit cards and none take free fed food money, but all will barter for goods you can hold in your hand..

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    There is nothing immoral about charging whatever the market will bear for a product or service. There is nothing unsavory about profit - even HUGE profit. That is how the market brings more resources to meet rising demand. What did you THINK would happen when the demand for organics increased?

    There is a very disturbing anti-capitalist/anti-liberty theme in this article and this post.
    Here we go, the lectures of how I am not for free market.


    *SIGH* The topic is organic companies selling out to Big Corporates who have less then stellar records with good wholesome foods.

    Zippy made the comment:
    Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Should it be considered bad that corporations are producing and selling more products- getting them to more people- vs continuing with the factory style farms and ranches and feedlots for everything?
    My response was:
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    More product at what price? It's a moral question.
    That moral question, 'at what price' is not meaning monetarily, but at the price it will cost people's health in the end.
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    Here we go, the lectures of how I am not for free market.


    *SIGH* The topic is organic companies selling out to Big Corporates who have less then stellar records with good wholesome foods.

    Zippy made the comment:


    My response was:


    That moral question, 'at what price' is not meaning monetarily, but at the price it will cost people's health in the end.
    If the food they are producing is not what they say it is, sue for fraud. Otherwise, what's the gripe?
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    Here we go, the lectures of how I am not for free market.


    *SIGH* The topic is organic companies selling out to Big Corporates who have less then stellar records with good wholesome foods.

    Zippy made the comment:


    My response was:


    That moral question, 'at what price' is not meaning monetarily, but at the price it will cost people's health in the end.
    The article you posted has a strong anti-market bias. Some quotes to illustrate:

    "The bottom line for these corporations -- profit, plain and simple."

    So what is wrong with profit?

    "Insatiable appetite for profit driven organics"

    And the alternative is what? Socialist command economy?

    "The demand for organics has apparently compromised the entire industry by attracting profit hungry corporations."

    Oh NO! Providing consumers with what they want creates evil profits and attracts resources!!! The market is working! Stop it quick before people get rich!
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    If the food they are producing is not what they say it is, sue for fraud. Otherwise, what's the gripe?
    In a perfect world that would work. The peon always loses with this type monopoly--nor is it conducive to a free market. Especially when these conglomerates have huge lobbyist to get government to selective enforce laws gauged at the little guys and knock them out of business.
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  17. #15
    Organic local small farm/farmer's market > Organic from health food store > Organic from grocery store > Most everything else
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    In a perfect world that would work. The peon always loses with this type monopoly--nor is it conducive to a free market. Especially when these conglomerates have huge lobbyist to get government to selective enforce laws gauged at the little guys and knock them out of business.
    You'd think "Joe Consumer" would educate him/her self and seek out real food....

    It's coming to that, those who earn their money will deal with farmers and those who get money for free will shop in big-stores..

    $1.50lb on the hoof vs close to $20.00lb with that fancy "grass-fed" label...



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    In a perfect world that would work. The peon always loses with this type monopoly--nor is it conducive to a free market. Especially when these conglomerates have huge lobbyist to get government to selective enforce laws gauged at the little guys and knock them out of business.
    There is a thread on this very forum not more than two weeks old in which a exactly this kind of lawsuit was not only filed but settled for substantial damages.

    I oppose the government-created corporate business form and think it leads to loads of trouble. But far too often, opposition to crony-capitalism and corporatism gets mixed in with a wrong-headed hostility towards profits and markets. And there is much of that wrong-headedness in the original article.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    There is a thread on this very forum not more than two weeks old in which a exactly this kind of lawsuit was not only filed but settled for substantial damages.

    I oppose the government-created corporate business form and think it leads to loads of trouble. But far too often, opposition to crony-capitalism and corporatism gets mixed in with a wrong-headed hostility towards profits and markets. And there is much of that wrong-headedness in the original article.



    This paragraph is the crux of the issues:
    To make matters more appalling, the National Organic Standards Board is controlled by members from big business who do not necessarily hold the consumers best interests at heart. Keep in mind this is the board that wields considerable power over the organic industry -- choosing whether an ingredient can be included in certified organic products or not. The board is supposed to represent the "diversity of the American public and of organic agriculture," according to the National Organic Program. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. The standards board is filled with members who strive to represent their specific interest groups and vote with bias. Consider Katrina Heinze, an executive at General Mills who was selected to serve as consumer representative in 2005. General Mills is famous for promoting nanotechnology and genetic engineering -- not exactly a stunning organic model. Or take Ms. Beck, who is the national organic program manager at Driscoll's and has a board seat as a 'farmer.' The problem is, Beck is not a farmer. But she does have special interests. Evidently, this is all that is needed to gain board influence.
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    The big sellout -- Majority of organic companies owned by mega corporations

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 by: Carolanne Wright

    One of the most beneficial aspects of the Yes on 37 campaign is the transparency it created regarding seemingly 'natural' and organic brands. Mega conglomerates like Dean Foods, Coca Cola, Hain, Kraft, PepsiCo and Heinz have gobbled up most of the organic food industry, leaving little to spare -- spawning the term 'Big Organic.' These very same companies have a track record of destroying healthy food through industrial, genetically modified and conventional farming practices. The bottom line for these corporations -- profit, plain and simple. While they take their share of the $30 billion-a-year organic food industry, small and true organics are laid to waste.

    Insatiable appetite for profit driven organics
    Over the last decade, the natural and organic food industry has become very lucrative for big business. A form of greenwashing, corporations such as Hain Celestial buy up small organic companies, then hide behind bucolic-sounding labels like Health Valley and Walnut Acres. Or worse, conglomerates like Dean Foods snapping up the Silk brand in 2002 and immediately reducing sustainable ingredients. This behemoth also bought Horizon Organic in 2004 and soon after began purchasing dairy from suppliers operating factory farms. The demand for organics has apparently compromised the entire industry by attracting profit hungry corporations. See the infographic here for a list of all the organic and 'natural' companies that have been swallowed up by conglomerates.

    To make matters more appalling, the National Organic Standards Board is controlled by members from big business who do not necessarily hold the consumers best interests at heart. Keep in mind this is the board that wields considerable power over the organic industry -- choosing whether an ingredient can be included in certified organic products or not. The board is supposed to represent the "diversity of the American public and of organic agriculture," according to the National Organic Program. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. The standards board is filled with members who strive to represent their specific interest groups and vote with bias. Consider Katrina Heinze, an executive at General Mills who was selected to serve as consumer representative in 2005. General Mills is famous for promoting nanotechnology and genetic engineering -- not exactly a stunning organic model. Or take Ms. Beck, who is the national organic program manager at Driscoll's and has a board seat as a 'farmer.' The problem is, Beck is not a farmer. But she does have special interests. Evidently, this is all that is needed to gain board influence.

    The last holdouts
    Sadly, only a few truly independent organic companies remain. Examples include: Eden, Nature's Path, Cedarlane and Organic Valley. For a full list, click here.

    With the failure of Prop. 37, American consumers cannot rely on the government for food transparency or safety. It is up to us. By purchasing produce from local organic farms, supporting independent organic companies and boycotting 'Big Organic,' we can make a difference by casting votes with our dollars and our forks.

    Sources for this article include:

    "Has 'Organic' Been Oversized?" Stephanie Strom, New York Times, July 7, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://www.nytimes.com

    "The Defeat of Prop 37 Means Go Back To Voting With Your Fork" Sayer Ji, Wake-Up World, November 9, 2012. Retrieve on November 13, 2012 from: http://wakeup-world.com

    "Big Food Behemoths Embarrass Their Organic Offshoots" Jim Hightower, Truth-Out, October 10, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://truth-out.org

    "Big Organic Joins Monsanto in Fighting Prop 37" Corey Hill, East Bay Express, September 12, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://www.eastbayexpress.com

    "Organic Food Industry Bought Up by Corporations Like Coca-Cola" Anthony Gucciardi, Natural Society, April 3, 2012. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://naturalsociety.com

    "Who Owns Organic?" Cornucopia Institute. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

    "The Stories (And Money) Behind 10 of Your Favorite Organic and Natural Brands" Vanessa Barrington, EcoSalon, October 28, 2009. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from: http://ecosalon.com

    About the author:
    Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.

    Follow on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Thrive_Living

    Read her other articles on Natural News here:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/Author1183.html
    Why do you think they are pushing global warming and going green, as if we created these problems in the first place? They profited off of selling us crap food, now they want to profit off selling us the solution to their crap food. Hopefully their organic food doesn't eventually turn into another version of their crap food.



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