There is a call for a near-future investigation of illegal synthetics being used in organic food which have been corruptly approved by corporations gaming the system. The United States National Organic Standards Board, a panel that advises the USDA Secretary on all things organic related, was the one to approve Martek Biosciences Coprorations petition allowing for the use of the synthetic chemical – a genetically modified soil fungus and algae – in organic food.
The Cornucopia Institute reports:
“Martek’s formulated oils are processed with synthetic petrochemical solvents in a blend containing a myriad of other synthetic chemicals. Supplements derived from these oils, commonly marketed as DHA and ARA, are being added to milk, infant formula and other organic foods by such companies as Dean Foods (Horizon), Abbott Laboratories (Similac) and Nurture, Inc. (Happy Baby)”
This issue has actually been going on for quite some time, and the United States Department of Agriculture seems to think it will just disappear. In April 2010, after receiving a formal complaint by the Cornucopia Institute and being the subject of an investigative report by the Washington Post, the USDA announced that its decision to allow Marteck’s oils in organic foods was inappropriate. The scandal helped lead to the dismissal of the National Organic Programs previous director, who nullified her staff’s decision finding that the supplements from Martek were illegal in organic foods.
Although the decision made by the previous director was reversed in April of 2010, the Obama/Vilsack administration at the USDA delayed the removal of the unapproved, genetically modified synthetics by 18 months. While the Food and Drug Administration pushed complaints concerning the safety of Martek’s products under the rug, parents and some healthcare providers keep reporting on how infants will continue to experience serious gastrointestinal symptoms and become ill after consumption.
Even though Martek made claims to discontinue the use of the controversial neurotoxic solvent n-hexane for DHA/ARA processing, they didn’t make known the substitutes they would use. But in order for the company to successfully follow organic standard, they will not be able to use any synthetic solvents or petrochemical solvents.