Sunday, July 12, 2009

Many Organic Soy Food Brands Importing Beans From China

"Behind The Bean," a new report, released by The Cornucopia Institute, reveals that some companies are importing soybeans from China and the use of toxic chemicals to process soy foods labeled as “natural.” The report exposes The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry, and a ratings scorecard of organic brands, separates industry heroes – who have gone out of their way to connect with domestic farmers – from businesses that are exploiting the trust of consumers.

After reports from cooperative and independent natural foods retailers around the country Cornucopia visited a Whole Foods store in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin and found only one of 25 Silk soymilk products was organic. This is a radical departure by a brand that was widely viewed as an organic market pioneer.
Meanwhile, highly committed companies like Eden Foods, one of the country’s largest organic soy foods producers, Small Planet Tofu, and Vermont Soy work directly with North American organic farmers. Some soy food makers that did not participate in the scorecard study may have been hesitant to share their sourcing information because they also buy organic soybeans from China. The USDA waited five years before sending auditors to China to examine the practices of that country’s certifying agents. And even when in China, the USDA’s auditors visited only two farms in the entire country. On these two farms, they found multiple noncompliance's with U.S. organic standards. USDA auditors also discovered that Chinese-based organic certifying agents did not always provide a translated copy of the U.S. standards to clients who apply for organic certification.

We no longer trust these imports to feed our pets: They have no place in organics or any products we take into our bodies.

Hexane: The dirty secret of the natural soy foods industry. Watch the Hexane Video.
There is widespread use of the toxic chemical solvent hexane used to process nearly all conventional soy protein ingredients and edible oils even though it is prohibited when processing organic foods.
Soybeans are bathed in hexane by food processors to separate soy oil from the protein and fiber of the beans. It's rather cheap to use and highly efficient method for concentrating high-protein isolates. But hexane is also a neurotoxic chemical that poses serious occupational hazards to workers, is an environmental air pollutant, and can contaminate food.
The government does not require that companies test for hexane residues before selling foods to consumers, including soy-based infant formula.

The full Cornucopia Institute report, or an executive summary, including the scorecard of organic soy brands, can be found at: REPORT

Can China be trusted? Watch this CNN report from a few years ago. Has anything changed?