Wal-Mart Accused of Organic Food Fraud


The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based advocacy group which promotes sustainable farming, claims Wal-Mart (Charts) is defrauding its customers by mislabeling non-organic products as organic.

The policy group said it conducted checks of Wal-Mart stores in five states and discovered labeling violations in virtually all of the “dozens of stores” it visited.

Wal-Mart, which uses green signs to identify organic selections at its stores, said any shelf labeling mistakes are isolated events and that it often mixes organic and conventional products on its shelves to make it easer for customers to find organic options.

“Although Wal-Mart has more than 2,000 locations that may offer up to 200 organic selections in addition to thousands of non-organic offerings, 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,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Although it’s not an isolated incident if a problem is found at several locations, it does sound less like a concerted effort of fraud and more like ignorance and laziness at the various stores and by Wal-Mart’s retail food management.

Organic Food requires a fair amount of diligence, not only in the production but in the retailing. If Wal-Mart doesn’t wish to provide the consumer with the necessary level of management and work needed, then they need to stop selling and promoting organic foods.

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