The Organic Trade Association took out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal Sept. 12 pushing back against what the group called misleading and derogatory attacks on organic food.
The association said the ad was in response to an op-ed and a letter to the editor published in The Wall Street Journal that disparaged the organic industry and accused it of “lying” to consumers.
An Aug. 5 opinion piece written by Henry Miller was headlined “The Organic Industry Is Lying to You” and with the subhead “Normally a strict regulator, the FDA gives advertisers a complete pass.”
Miller is associated with Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb followed up on the opinion piece Aug. 7, tweeting that the FDA will soon put out more detailed information on what different terms mean on food packaging, to help consumers best use claims like organic, antibiotic-free and others.
The full page black-and-white ad placed by the Organic Trade Association was titled, “Here’s a long list of chemicals you should never have to read,” and featured a comprehensive detailed list of the hundreds of chemicals prohibited in organic production and processing, with a link for readers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the list of substances allowed and prohibited in organic production, according to the release.
“It is the mission of the Organic Trade Association to protect and promote organic, and it is our responsibility to get the facts out. It’s critically important to push back against these attacks,” Laura Batcha, CEO of the OTA, said in the release.
“Consumers deserve to know the truth,” said Batcha. “Organic’s strength is its transparency, and organic farmers and businesses work hard every day to uphold the standards of organic and to honor the trust that we’ve earned from consumers everywhere. We will not let these charges go unanswered.”