A Wisconsin-based watchdog group accuses Wal-Mart of “organic fraud.” Will Fantle, coordinator for the Cornucopia Institute, says they began surveying Wal-Mart stores last September, and discovered some problems in connection with the retailer’s organic food offerings. “One of those problems . . was this mislabeling that we began to see in stores where organic food was being offered.”
Wal-Mart declined to comment for this report, but in a statement said “we believe it to be an isolated incident should a green organic identifying tag be inadvertently placed by or accidentally shift in front of the wrong item.” Wal-Mart also said it continues to work to make sure organic identifying tags are correctly displayed. Fantle remains unconvinced. “We have seen this occur since we first notified Wal-Mart of this,” he says. “These problems persist.”
Cornucopia Institute has twice contacted USDA, which regulates organics, but Kastel says the federal agency could not confirm that any enforcement action was being taken, so the institute filed a consumer complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection .