Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Corporatization of organic foods

I hate reading articles like this but I do because sticking my head in the sand doesn't help the health of my kid. Commondreams provides the gory details regarding the corporatization of organic foods. It begins with the history of the organic food movement but I always get off on interrelationships such as this:
    To fully realize the danger of our current situation, you merely have to view a list of the giant agribusiness corporations that are clamoring to get in on the organic foods market action, which at the current growth rate will constitute 10 percent of American agriculture by the year 2010. These huge companies now own most of the organic industry's leading brands.

    * General Mills owns Muir Glen and Cascadian Farm

    * Heinz owns Hain, Breadshop, Arrowhead Mills, Garden of Eatin', Farm Foods, Imagine Rice (and Soy) Dream, Casbah, Health Valley, DeBoles, Nile Spice, Celestial Seasonings, Westbrae, Westsoy, Little Bear, Walnut Acres, Shari Ann's, Mountain Sun, and Millina's Finest

    * M&M-Mars owns Seeds of Change

    * Coca-Cola owns Odwalla

    * Kellogg owns Kashi, Morningstar Farms, and Sunrise Organic

    * Philip Morris/Kraft owns Boca Foods and Back to Nature

    * Tyson owns Nature's Farm Organic

    * ConAgra owns LightLife

    * Danone owns Stonyfield Farm

    * Dean owns White Wave Silk, Alta Dena, Horizon, and The Organic Cow of Vermont

    * Unilever owns Ben and Jerry's

    And the list goes on and on and on.

    And who (or what) leads the Organic Trade Association, which continues to play a leading role in the development of organic food legislation and policy-making? The board of directors includes employees of Whole Foods Market, Weetabix Canada, Stonyfield Farm, and Horizon companies. And the primary funding for the OTA's public policy and media advocacy work comes from Hain Celestial Group (i.e. Heinz Corp), Horizon Organic (i.e. Dean Corp), Cascadia Farm (i.e. General Mills Corp), Stonyfield Farm (i.e. Danone Corp), Tyson Foods, and many others.
Makes me want to go off and find some isolated spot so I can grow my own food.