A shocking new report by the Cornucopia Institute, entitled Cereal Crimes: How “Natural” Claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label, exposes Bear Naked, Barbara’s, Back to Nature, Annie’s Homegrown and many other popular cereal brands that intentionally blur the lines between organic and natural. To most consumers, petrochemical solvents, toxic pesticides, sewage sludge, genetically engineered ingredients and fumigants are never considered “natural.” Yet many cereal companies use these ingredients and routinely label their foods as “natural.”
“Support for healthy organic food and sustainable farming is at the core of our mission at GrandyOats,” says Aaron Anker, Chief Granola Officer. “We are shocked at the extent to which many cereal companies are misleading consumers with false and distorted ‘natural’ claims.” Anker also noted that not only does this unscrupulous behavior hurt the integrity of the entire organic foods movement, it creates an unfair playing field for upstanding organic brands recognized as such in the report, including GrandyOats. Below are examples in the report, for more visit: http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/10/natural-vs-organic-cereal/.
- Most companies do not share detailed standards for “natural” foods with the public. Kashi® and Bear Naked®, for example, both owned by Kellogg Company, would likely be uncomfortable sharing with their customers that their “natural” foods may contain hexane-extracted and genetically engineered soy ingredients. On August 31, 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kellogg/Kashi® for allegedly misleading consumers with its “natural” claims.
- Some companies that started out organic, and built consumer loyalty as organic brands, have switched to non-organic “natural” ingredients and labeling. Peace Cereal® is an example of “bait-and switch.” In 2008, Peace Cereal®, switched from organic to cheaper conventional ingredients, without lowering its prices accordingly.
- A Boston-area Whole Foods store carried 18 brands of packaged granola in the spring of 2011. While one would expect that the least expensive granola products would be conventional and the most expensive would be organic, that was not the case. The least expensive is the Whole Foods private label (365 Organic) organic granola, at $0.26 per ounce.
- GrandyOats, a relatively small, 100% organic, independent company in Maine, offers its organic granola at lower prices than agribusiness giant Kellogg Company’s Bear Naked® conventional granola.
- After extensive testing, numerous “natural” products were indeed contaminated with high levels of GE ingredients, sometimes as high as 100%, such as: Kashi® GoLean®, Mother’s® Bumpers®, Nutritious Living® Hi-Lo®, and General Mills Kix®.
Source: Cornucopia Institute