Purity of Federal “Organic” Label is Questioned


The battle between pure organics and mass marketing is one Native Sun has been fighting for years. The term organic has been thrown around so much, what does it even mean anymore? Now with the recession, we find even more consumers switching brands based on bottom line cost instead of value, standards and quality.

On July 3, The Washington Post published an article titled “Purity of Federal ‘Organic’ Label is Questioned”  that aimed to show the corruption and shortcomings of the USDA Organic Program. On July 4, The Organic Trade Association sent out a he-said, she-said rebuttal titled “Organic Label Remains Trustworthy and Relevant.” Which do you believe?

Here are a few exerpts from The Post article . . .

“The government’s turnaround, from prohibition to permission, came after a USDA program manager was lobbied by the formula makers and overruled her staff.”
“The USDA program’s shortcomings mean that consumers, who at times must pay twice as much for organic products, are not always getting what they expect . . . Grated organic cheese, for example, contains wood starch to prevent clumping. Organic beer can be made from non-organic hops. Organic mock duck contains a synthetic ingredient that gives it an authentic, stringy texture.”

“Under the original organics law, 5 percent of a USDA-certified organic product can consist of non-organic substances, provided they are approved by the National Organic Standards Board. That list [of approved non-organic substances] has grown from 77 to 245 substances since it was created in 2002.”
Click HERE to read the full Post article, and HERE to read The OTA’s rebuttal.


At Native Sun, we fight to keep our prices competitive while also maintaining the quality of products our customers have come to expect. For example, compare our 69 cents/lb Certified Organic Bananas with the 67 cents/lb conventional bunches at Walmart. Two more cents and you could be eating organically grown bananas, protecting your health and supporting organic standards, small farmers and the environment. Is that worth two cents? We think so.

Let us know what YOU think about the issues facing the organic industry. Send your comments and questions to Native Sun Owner Aaron Gottlieb at newsletter@nativesunjax.com and he will personally respond to them via email, newsletter and the Native Sun blog.  

Click HERE to subscribe to the Native Sun Blog now, and get instant email updates each time we post a new entry.


3 responses to “Purity of Federal “Organic” Label is Questioned

  1. One thing I can say about the difference in bananas is that when I eat non-organic I am very gaseous and when I eat organic I AM NOT. There is a difference for sure in many foods that I have found to be worth the difference in price as to how my body digests these different foods since I do have a sensitive stomach. Sometimes due to our budget and time it takes to get to a store that sells organic, I do buy non-organic and then I pay for it in more than money. I love Native Sun and I have shopped there ever since you opened out in San Jose. 6 yrs ago I moved to the beach so I shop Baymeadows now. I am so thankful for everything you do to bring to us a much healthier way of life. Thank you Aaron for everything and to all your staff.

  2. I am so grateful that you do everything you can to stay on top of the curve in presenting only organic as much as you possibly can. You are a true blessing to us. It is getting harder and harder to truly get wholesome food and I appreciate that I can go somewhere that if it has something bad it is because you haven’t discovered it out yet. I appreciate your diligence to research as you do for our health as well as your family’s. Please keep encouraged and know that I tell everyone I can about the quality you demand at Native Sun. It is such a joy to shop there and you hire great people with great personalities who are so willing to help in whatever way they can.

  3. I load up on organic bananas at that price! for Green Smoothies!!!!!!
    Thanks Native Sun for all you do to bring awareness to the public about organic standards and for being a certified organic grocer!!

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