There's Something Rotten Beneath That Organic Food Label

As consumers become increasingly interested in the safety and quality of the food that they put in their bodies, organic food has enjoyed strong growth. Sales rose from $11 billion in 2004 to $27 billion in 2012, according to the USDA.

But what does "organic" really mean, and does the label meet consumers' expectations? Do shoppers know that the Horizon Organics brand -- darling of the urban food co-op -- belongs to decidedly conventional Dean Foods (NYSE: DF  ) ? Or that Hain Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN  ) has been dogged recently by accusations of false organic labeling, leading to a class action lawsuit?

Motley Fool contributor Sara Murphy discusses the tensions at play in consumer food preferences, as well as why Monsanto (NYSE: MON  ) may not be a good long-term bet. It may lead you to cast a longing eye at Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM  ) , a company that -- while not perfect -- is much closer to meeting the spirit of consumers' food preferences.

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  • Report this Comment On July 01, 2013, at 12:51 PM, getthetruth2 wrote:

    Organic farming reduces yield and and increases costs relative to conventional and GM. GM traits like BT cotton and corn reduce chemcial isnecticide uses by massive amount 25 million lbs of insecticide per year for US alone (about 25% of corn crop) just for corn. Organic corn is less than 1% of corn crop - what decreased insecticides the most - answer GM. Conventional corn 95% treated with a host of herbicides (many weeds already resistant) - GM corn treated with mainly glyphosate, some gluphosinate and other herbicides when weeds get resistant. True Organic corn no herbicide but yields down 50%. What is the best? Conventional/GM crop harvest - 90% consumed; organic 50% consumed (50% wasted due to disease damage and handling damage) to taste better it is harvested closer to ripeness and to look better a big % thrown away.

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