Viewpoint: FDA gives organic food marketers a pass on deceptive labeling—at consumer expense

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[W]hen it comes to the $47-billion-a-year organic industry, the FDA gives a complete pass to blatantly false and deceptive advertising claims. Consider the Whole Foods website, which explicitly claims that organic foods are grown “without toxic or persistent pesticides.” In fact, organic farmers rely on synthetic and natural pesticides to grow their crops, just as conventional farmers do, and organic products can contain numerous synthetic as well as natural chemicals.

[F]ood marketers are masters at subtly misleading consumers. A favored technique is the “absence claim”—asserting a

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Image Credit: My Windowsill

meaningless distinction between products in order to make theirs seem superior. Generally, the FDA comes down hard on such behavior. They would never allow an orange-juice producer to label its product “fat free,” for example. To claim an absence of a certain ingredient, there has to be a “standard of presence” in that product to begin with, and there is no fat in orange juice.

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But Tropicana gets away with labeling its orange juice “Non-GMO Project Verified,” …. even though there are no GMO …. oranges …. on the market.

Giving the organic industry and others a pass to engage in such active deception undermines consumers’ choice, erodes trust in the market, and rigs the game. Consumers need aggressive FDA action to curb these abuses and level the playing field.

Read full, original article: The Organic Industry Is Lying to You

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