Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Organic Soy Brands Importing soy beans from China

The Organic Consumers Association just reported on a study done by the Cornucopia Institute. It seems like many organic soy brands when bought up by bigger corporations are switching from soybeans grown by American farmers to cheaper beans from China. Not only does this discourage our US farmers from growing their soy organically, but when the USDA sent auditors to inspect Chinese sites, they found multiple noncompliances and found that certifying agents did not always even have a translated copy of the US organic certification standards. 

Even worse, some companies that have been know to be organic are now dropping switching to nonorganic beans. Why is this a problem? Well besides the fact that soy is often genetically engineered and grown with toxic herbicides, it is also usually processed with the chemical solvent 'hexane' which is a neurotoxic chemical. Despite the fact that hexane residue can end up in the soy product, according to the OCA the government does not require testing before selling food to consumers -- even for soy-based infant formula.

Dean Foods who now owns the Silk soymilk line, has quit using organic soybeans and switched to cheaper conventionally grown varieties in most of the Silk products--without changing the UPC codes or LOWERING PRICES. I just went and checked my carton of Silk creamer -- it still says 'organic soybeans' in the ingredients, but do I want to continue to support this company?

According to the article, Eden Foods, Small Planet Tofu, and Vermont Soy work directly with North American organic farmers. Here's the OCA article. Here's the full Cornucopia study.



 

5 comments:

Alisa said...

I pretty much cut out soy a little while ago for personal reasons, but I am glad I did. I can't believe Silk is no longer organic! Thanks for the update.

Cathe Olson said...

Yeah -- that's what happens when these small business who started out with great ethical principles get sold to the big guys . . .

Cathe Olson said...

Here's some more info on Dean Foods and Silk products: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18064.cfm

Alisa said...

Thanks Cathe, I am quoting your post in our upcoming news with link back to here and to the studies. I hope that is cool!

Cathe Olson said...

Of course Alisa.