Perpetrating "Natural" Fraud
Consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as "natural," and those nutritionally and environmentally superior products that are "certified organic."
Retail stores like WFM and wholesale distributors like UNFI have failed to educate their customers about the qualitative difference between natural and organic.
A troubling trend in organics today is the calculated shift on the part of certain large companies from certified organic ingredients and products to so-called "natural" products. With the exception of the "natural" meat sector, where there are limited voluntary guidelines, there is no definition of "natural." In the majority of cases, "natural" products are greenwashed conventional products, with "natural" label claims neither policed nor monitored.
Whole Foods and UNFI are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices. Organic consumers are increasingly left without certified organic choices while organic farmers continue to lose market share to "natural" imposters. It's no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic. READ MORE
In 2008, the Organic Consumers Association exposed a problem which particularly threatens women - a large number of leading conventional as well as "natural" and "organic" brands of shampoos, lotions, cosmetics and household cleaning products which contained the carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane.
Included in the list of products were several Whole Food's 365 brand products and many products in the UNFI catalog.
While several dozen companies have committed to eliminating the 1,4-Dioxane, neither Whole Foods, nor UNFI, have endorsed OCA's Coming Clean Campaign, nor have they called on the USDA to crack down on blatant labeling fraud in the organic personal care and cosmetics sector. READ MORE