Earlier this month, the green community – whom support GMO labeling – were shocked to find out one of their favorite organic companies was now majority-owned by organizations known to support GMOs. As shown in numerous reports, half of Suja Juice was now owned by both both Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs, two organizations known for supporting GMOs. Needless to say, many who indulged in Suja Juice’s cold-pressed organic beverages expressed their disdain.
Unfortunately, Suja Juice is just one of many organic companies being bought out by huge corporations supporting GMOs. Out of all of them, here are the top organic food companies now owned by pro-GMO corporations, as detailed by AltHealthWorks.
Annie’s Homegrown – Founded in 1989, Annie’s Homegrown is a Berkeley, California-based maker of natural and organic pastas, meals, and snacks. They were particularly popular with parents who wanted to feed their children organic, non-GMO foods, especially with foods targeted towards children (mac-n-cheese, pizza, etc.). Annie’s Homegrown made it easier for them by providing an alternative to popular children’s foods by Kraft or Chef Boyardee. On September 8, 2014 though, Annie’s Homegrown was bought by General Mills, the company known for Cheerios. It is known among the green community that General Mills supports GMOs.
Dagoba Organic Chocolate – Founded in 2001 by Frederick Schilling, Dagoba Organic Chocolate is a brand of premium organic chocolate made as an alternative to chocolate using GMO ingredients. Given the fact chocolate is often indulged as a dessert or decadent treat, it is understandable why the green community loved this company. Besides chocolate bars, they also provided chocolate drinks and baking products. However, in October of 2006, Dagoba Organic Chocolate was acquired by Hershey, the world’s most popular chocolate/candy corporation. Hershey is also known for their support of GMOs.
Cascadian Farm – Founded by Gene Kahn about 40 years ago, Cascadian Farms has grown into one of the country’s leading brands of organic foods. What is unique about Cascadian Farms is it was actually just a real farm in which its non-GMO ingredients are used to make cereals, granola bars, frozen fruit, frozen vegetables, frozen potatoes, fruit spreads, juice concentrates, and relish. Today, there are numerous farms that are pioneered by Cascadian Farms to help supply the demand of organic consumers. What many may not know is they are now a part of General Mills when General Mills took over Small Planet Foods and Muir Glen.
R.W. Knudsen – Known for their natural bottled juices, R.W. Knudsen manufactures over 125 different products in which many use organic ingredients. Their most well-known line is the family of natural, non-carbonated juices sold in 32 oz. glass jars. They also are known for Recharge, a natural sports drink meant to be a substitute to Gatorade and Powerade, and Spritzers, a line of carbonated juice-flavored drinks sold in 12 oz. aluminum cans. Even though they are Non-GMO Project verified, it should be known R.W. Knudsen is owned by The J.M. Smucker Company, the corporation known for their jellies. They are also known for their public support of using GMOs too.
Honest Tea – Founded in 1998 by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, Honest Tea is a bottled organic tea company based in Bethesda, Maryland. The idea behind Honest Tea is to provide beverages to the market that were less sweet and organic while conducting business using fair trade principles. Such a business plan worked well because it appealed to the green community. As a matter of fact, Honest Tea had sales of $112 million back in 2013. What many may not know is that Coca-Cola now owns them. It started back in 2008 when they purchased a 40 percent stake of the company for $43 million. Three years later, they would by the rest.
Applegate Farms – Applegate Farms is very popular among the green community for being the top distributor for organic meat in the United States. In order for their meat to be organic, they want to change the food system by innovating three parts: eaters, farmers, and innovators. As a result, they are known for phasing out GM feed, open-range raising of animals, and other methods approved by the green community. However, many may not know that as of May of this year (2015), Applegate Farms was bought at the price of $775 million. Hormel now owns them and they are one of the most egregiously pro-GMO meat companies today.
Stonyfield Farm – Probably the most surprising company on this list, Stonyfield Farm is known for their organic yogurt. Founded in Londonberry, New Hampshire by Samuel Kaymen in 1983, they have grown to become the No. 1 selling brand of organic yogurt and No. 3 overall. However in 2001, Groupe Danone purchased a 40 percent stake in Stonyfield Farm. Two years later, they made an additional purchase bringing their stake up to 85 percent. Just so it is known, Groupe Danone is known for making Dannon yogurts, which are rated to likely have GMO ingredients and to likely use milk from cows given GM feed.
Out of all the organic companies owned by huge corporations known to support GMOs or go against GMO labeling, which one would probably be the biggest surprise for the green and organic community?
[Image via Annie’s Homegrown/General Mills]