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The Importance of Reading the Label on Organic Food

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June 15, 2012

If you read my posts you probably are fully aware of my support for an organic lifestyle in regards to the foods you choose to eat. However, choosing an organic product sadly does not mean what it used to years ago. It is vitally important that you read the labels on your organic products to ensure there are no questionable ingredients.

How can carcinogens and other ingredients make its way into organic food?

Twice a year the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meet to discuss standards for the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). The idea behind this meeting is to ensure the utmost in quality standards and to continuously improve upon the program. Unfortunately these meetings have lately been adding to the growing list of synthetic ingredients allowed in certified organic food.

It’s a list that is already staggering. You can view the list of non-synthetic and non-organic ingredients that can be added to organic food and still receive the organic label here. The last meeting heralded in three new synthetic substances to the list: carrageenan, choline, and inositol .

Carrageenan is used as an emulsifier in some juices and dairy products. However, it is also a known carcinogen and can cause digestive problems. Choline and Inositol are being added to organic infant formula (already in non-organic formula) and pediatric “medical foods”. Choline and Inositol have been shown to produce 1-4,dioxane a known carcinogen.

So why are these products being approved for use in organic food? When a person purchases organic products they are expecting a product free of synthetic and harmful substances. Many pay a premium for the products and to know that harmful and synthetic substances still may be lurking inside is quite disturbing.

This is where reading the label becomes a must. Purchasing organic ensures the products are GMO free, not grown with pesticides, and a minimal amount of processing and additives are present. By reading the labels on your favorite products you can ensure that the products are also free of these “okayed” synthetic ingredients as well.

If you notice one of your favorite organic brands is using any of these synthetic ingredients you can take action. Calling the customer support line and emailing the company with your concerns is one way to be sure your thoughts are on the radar. There are also a number of other online petitions asking the NOSB to reconsider their list of allowed ingredients. You can petition organic companies from using carrageenan here.

The most powerful protest to the introduction of synthetics into organic products is through your buying power. Do not purchase products from companies that use these synthetics. Instead support those choosing not to use them. Let your family and friends know about your concerns and let your voice be heard.

Were you aware of the approved synthetics list for organic products?

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