There's a recent piece at the New York Times, Has 'Organic' Been Oversized? that looks into the problem (for some) of how organics have grown and grown as of late. This is far from the first article about this issue, and I'm sure it won't be the last. The growing numbers of complaints about "big" organic include...
- Big companies like Kellogg, PepsiCo, Hain Celestial and more own many of the formally (and newer) organic companies, meaning, organic isn't so small or local anymore.
- Big business means that too many nonorganic ingredients have been added to the National List.
- As the Times points out, "BIG FOOD has also assumed a powerful role in setting the standards for organic foods. Major corporations have come to dominate the board that sets these standards."
When big business threatens the integrity of organics, yes, that's a major problem. That said, I'm not entirely against "Big" organics because big companies do allow organics to go down in price, reach a wider number of people and promote organics as more of a norm. Although the role of big business on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has been mucking stuff up as of late, the simple act of any company (in whole or in part) being certified organic and following current organic policy has many benefits from safer food to a healthier environment and more.
I think if everyone expects organic to stay tiny, expensive and exclusive, it would help the integrity issue a lot, but it also creates a major inaccessible organics issue. I'd like to see organics as an industry grow and thrive and reach more people. I also advocate for organic integrity. I do think you can have both. We just need to realize that there will be some hiccups in the road as organics grow in scope and more real organic advocates need to speak up and continue to speak up so we can maintain integrity.
Read the article - Has 'Organic' Been Oversized?.