Viewpoint: Organic food companies count on ‘consumer ignorance’ to sell their products

OrganicProduce e
Image: Lee-Anne Armitage Acupuncture

Consumers today have more food choices available than at any other time in human history …. but the terms and labels that communicate differences in food production and preparation are all too often more confusing than helpful. The word “organic” is one of these.

Many people believe that something labeled organic means the product is healthier than a non-organic version. That’s the impression organic growers and manufacturers have tried to create ….

Organic marketers understood that the higher price tag of their products would deter customers unless they made them afraid to use the cheaper alternatives. So in addition to touting non-existent health benefits, organic marketers embarked on a campaign to make consumers believe they would be harmed and their health undermined if they bought conventional food.

Related article:  Why scientific arguments won't end Europe's opposition to CRISPR-edited crops

In making these pesticide-free and natural claims, they count on consumer ignorance of the fact that organic food can have synthetic ingredients, over 50 of them, all determined by organic farmers and lobbyists appointed to an industry panel within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

These tactics have been wildly successful.

In the 18 years since the USDA organic label was created, organic food has become a $124 billion industry based on claims that the government specifically said were false.

Read full, original article: Opinion: Organic label misleads consumers

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend