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Omnivore - Wal-Mart's organic fraud

In last year's CL Food Issue, Cliff Bostock wrote an article about the Wal-Marting of organics, arguing that the giant retailer's reasons for getting into the organic market were contrary to the very philosophy driving the organic movement, and that the result would be a watering-down of the standards of truly organic growing.

It turns out that, at least in Wisconsin, Wal-Mart may have been doing more than watering down organic standards. According to a press release on the website of the Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit governmental and corporate organic industry watchdog:

Consumer fraud investigators in the state of Wisconsin released their findings this week after a three-month long investigation into allegations that Wal-Mart stores throughout the state of Wisconsin had misled consumers by misidentifying conventional food items as organic.

...the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection stated they’d found numerous instances of conventional food products improperly labeled as organic by the retail chain.

No word on whether this is a phenomenon that could be company-wide or whether it is isolated.





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