Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wal-Mart Accused of Widespread Misuse of "Organic" Labels

When staff at the Cornucopia Institute, one of the country's most prominent organic watchdogs, surveyed Wal-Mart stores around the country last September, they discovered widespread problems with signage misrepresenting nonorganic food as "organic.

So what's the latest? Did Wal-Mart change its ways? Was the company reprimanded in any way?

From today's press release: "Now, Cornucopia... is even more surprised that more than four months after informing the company of the problems, which could be interpreted as consumer fraud, and two months after filing a formal legal complaint with the USDA, the federal agency regulating organic labeling, many of the deceptive signs at Wal-Mart stores are still in place." Read more about the case online.

I've always been concerned that Wal-Mart would use deceptive tactics in the marketplace to capitalize on the organic seal without actually supporting the values that most of us think we're supporting when we buy "organic." Cornucopia's research seems to be proving those fears were grounded. --Anna