If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve probably heard that the popular organic cereal company Nature’s Path has resigned from the Organic Trade Association, citing their support for hydroponic agriculture in organic as well as their support for the DARK Act as reasons to leave.
Now the controversial OTA has shown where its true allegiances lie once again by inviting two giant pro-GMO conglomerates to the party: Cargill and the chemical and GMO giant BASF, according to a report from the website Living Maxwell.
If these two companies are allowed to wield their enormous influence within the OTA, the very definition of organic could be watered down yet again, which means that big changes could be on the horizon for fans of truly natural food grown the old fashioned way.
Did the OTA Turn Its Back on the Organic Industry?
According to Nature’s Path, the OTA is not taking its responsibility to the organic community seriously.
The massive trade organization is highly influential in determining and shaping organic policy, but things have not been trending in a positively way lately, they say.
The OTA “is not working in step with organic advocates to protect and strengthen the original principles of the organic movement,” they wrote in a press release.
“Our departure from the OTA is an act of protest to raise awareness of our concern that the important role organic plays to support the health of consumers and our planet is being compromised,” added co-founder Arran Stephens.
Now that more and more people are going organic, farming has to keep up with demand, which is difficult because a huge portion of the organic food on grocery store shelves in the United States is imported.
While companies like Nature’s Path continue to stay independent invest in organic farmers on the ground affecting real change, it appears as if the biggest money makers in the business, represented by the OTA in the world of organic, are not necessarily following suit (the Cascadian Farm cereal brand has done so, but the company is owned by General Mills, another largely pro-GMO corporation).
Top Chemical Selling Company Now a Member of the OTA
In order to make up this gap in supply, the question is what these organizations will do now.
As of 2014 BASF was the number one selling chemical company in the world. They also sell GMO seeds, which once again raises the question of what they’re doing in a massive organic organization.
Speculation among many is that hydroponic agriculture may now rise to prominence, which is opposed by grassroots organizations including the Real Organic Project, which was started by organic farmer Dave Chapman to protest watered-down standards. Already Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has invested in massive hydroponic gardening warehouses, and could start bringing these crops to Whole Foods under the organic name en masse; a massive financial windfall for the company to be sure.
But critics like Chapman say hydroponics do not meet organic standards because they do not support the natural way of doing things by growing food in soil, supporting the health of the environment, animals, people and planet and producing a crop that is higher in antioxidants.
The future of organic is literally at stake, and with companies like BASF and Cargill (one of the largest industrial farming companies in the world) now members of the OTA, our purchases become more important than ever.
For more information, check out the full article here.
Special thanks to Sustainable Pulse for first breaking this story on social media.