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Organic Food Fraud

Date Published
Oct 29, 2013

Do you buy organic food? Have you purchased Newman’s Own Organic, Organic Bistro, or Oskri Organics food products? If so, you may have been deceived into buying food that is not actually certified organic.

We are investigating claims that certain companies are deceiving consumers by using the word “Organic” or “Organics” in their company name on food that does not legally qualify as organic. According to organic industry watchdog The Cornucopia Institute, “[c]ompanies are getting away with using the word ‘organic’ in their company name, listed prominently on food packages, even if the product they’re selling isn’t certified organic.”

In fact, complaints have already been filed with the USDA’s National Organic Program and the Federal Trade Commission, highlighting labeling improprieties with Oskri Organics, Organic Bistro, and Newman’s Own Organics. Although these companies are tightly regulated in terms of their use of the word “organic” on food packaging, The Cornucopia Institute has explained that products are being sold that to not qualify to bear the “USDA Organic” seal, yet appear organic to consumers based on the prominence of the word “Organic” in their brand name.

Oskri Organics sells a variety of foods, including fruit preserves, nutrition bars and tahini (sesame butter). Some of their products, however, contain no certified organic ingredients. Thus, these Oskri Organics products are therefore no different from conventional foods.

Similarly, Organic Bistro sells frozen entrees made with organic vegetables, but uses non-organic chicken and turkey.

Newman’s Own Organics uses the term “Organics” in its name—even though not all its products are actually certified organic. For example, Newman’s Own Organics Newman-O’s cookies contain conventional sugar, conventional canola oil and conventional cocoa.

The products discussed above may not legally qualify to bear the word “Organic” or the “USDA Organic” seal on their packaging.

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