Today the Organic Consumers Association sent an article to its e-newsletter subscribers that we found to be deeply disappointing. In it they accused Organic Valley and a handful of other organic dairy companies of indirectly supporting a lawsuit against GMO labeling, due to our membership in the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). While it is true that we are longtime members of the IDFA, it’s not true that we are against GMO labeling or support any lawsuits opposing it. In fact, it’s the opposite of the truth. For years, we’ve been an industry leader in advocating against GMOs, including advocating for their mandatory labeling. You can learn more about our history on this issue here: http://ov.coop/gmotrackrecord.
Our long partnership with the IDFA has helped the growth of organics in the dairy industry, and while we don’t support this lawsuit, we know that it’s important to continue partnerships with groups like the IDFA in our efforts to make organic food available to more people, and organic agriculture a sustainable livelihood for farmers in our country.
We think it’s irresponsible of the OCA to present such a limited, one-sided view of the full picture. As we well know, large-scale change doesn’t happen by drawing a line in the sand and refusing to work with those we disagree with. It happens by forming long-term partnerships and alliances, modeling good behavior, and influencing from the inside. By trying to stir up disagreement to draw attention to themselves, the OCA is distracting us from the real issues we should be focusing on, like how we can work together to transform a food system dominated by GMOs to one that is safe, transparent, and sustainable for consumers, farmers, and our planet. Their actions force us to question: whose side are they really on?