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Organic Consumers Association

Organic Consumers Association a staunch proponent of North American organic farming

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 by: Jerome Douglas
Tags: Organic Consumers Association, organic farming, organic produce

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(NewsTarget) With the recent announcement that mega-retailer Wal-Mart will begin selling and merchandising organic foods, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) fears the organic marketplace is at risk for complete dilution. They also fear the big-box store's practices will change the very definition of what constitutes organic food.

The Cornucopia Institute recently published a white paper entitled, "Wal-Mart Rolls out Organic Products: Expansion or Market Delusion?" This paper makes the argument that Wal-Mart is poised to drive down the price of organic food in the marketplace by using and selling cheap organic imports of questionable quality. In other words, Wal-Mart may change the very definition attached to the term organic.

According to Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute, "Organic family farmers in this country could see their livelihoods disintegrate the same way so many industrial workers saw their family-supporting wages evaporate as Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers put the screws to manufacturers' production shift to China and other low-wage countries."

In April 2006, The Cornucopia Institute released a rating of the nation's approximately 70 organic name-brand and private-label organic dairy products at www.cornucopia.org. Nearly 90 percent of the products received a very high rating, but well-known brands Horizon and Aurora -- which Wal-Mart sells -- refused to participate in the study and received the Institute's lowest score.

Due to the non-participation of these two highly visible organic brands, over 800,000 OCA members moved to boycott Horizon and Aurora dairy products. "It's hard to believe that at this time Wal-Mart would embrace these products," said OCA director Ronnie Cummins.

"I urge all consumers who believe in health, protecting the environment, and creating a better future to tune in to the Organic Consumers Association," said Mike Adams, editor of NewsTarget.com. "This is an outstanding organization that tells the truth about consumer products and stands out as a source of information that's truly independent and well-informed. It's required reading for savvy consumers who are tired of being lied to by the mainstream media."

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