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Greenwashed ‘Organic’ & ‘Natural’ Food Labels

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Greenwashed ‘Organic’ & ‘Natural’ Food Labels

Photo Courtesy Of:  iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, has a long history as a marketing and political consultant, and as a lobbyist (working for family farmers).

While he didn’t grow up on a farm, he ended up taking a summer job during his youth with the International Harvester Company. That was his first farm experience.

Later, he was recruited by JI Case, another large agricultural equipment manufacturer.

“I worked in corporate agribusiness,” he explains.

“Then I had a health crisis in the late 70s; I was acutely exposed to pesticides and it injured my immune system…

I was lucky enough to see the preeminent environmental allergist… Theron Randolph… who recommended that, among other things, I go on an all organic diet; that there weren’t many things we could do to relieve the strain on my immune system while I was healing, but controlling your food and your water intake is something you can take control of.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

At the time, he was operating his own farm implement business, which was in a region dominated by the industrial, chemically-intensive farming model. He switched gears and began gardening and farming organically.

“It caused a major professional shift in my life. I ended up doing consulting work for years, for what are now some of the leading organic companies,” he says.

“[T]here wasn’t really a readily available source for organic food until the early to mid-1980s when it started. It kicked into high gear in the 1990s when genetic engineering became an issue; when people became more synthesized to chemicals in their food.

… I helped launch the Organic Valley brand when they began in the late 80s or early 90s… Then I helped found the Cornucopia Institute eight years ago, when it looked like the wheels would fall off of this movement; when the giant corporate agribusinesses that has squeezed family farmers out of conventional farming, and that were responsible for the deterioration in the nutrient level and the safety of our food, were buying out, on a wholesale basis, all the brands that had launched the organic commercial movement.”

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.


+ add your own
4:57PM PST on Feb 15, 2012

We live in corrupted world, and money seems to be have more power, there always be lies, some things can improve and some things never will. With that said we still should try to do our best.

3:59PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

quite interesting...

6:42PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

I am so tired of how badly people act all in the name of business. Nothing these days is believable, if some greedy ass stands to make a buck.

1:39PM PST on Feb 9, 2012

It is unfortunate Big Corps. have no sense of Humanitarism. Products we can't trust the labsls on, newspaper and television ads that down right lie. They do all they can to confuse the consumers, so we must become more knowledgeable and more active in our buying to get rid of the bad.

5:30AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Thank you

2:08AM PST on Feb 9, 2012


11:49PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

So much greenwashing, it sucks.

9:40PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

It seems that most of our food system is based on lies!

5:00PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

If you are not on Cornucopia's mailing list, I HIGHLY recommend it. I have been for many, many years and can tell you they offer a wealth of information and opportunities for activism.

3:27PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Thank you.

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