Along with the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association), which is fronted by Monsanto, Dow, and other bioecth mega-companies, The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is trying to sue Vermont over the labeling law passed earlier this year requiring mandatory GMO disclosure on all food products. Some companies won’t be part of the bullying, though. Stonyfield Farm and Clover Stornetta Farms are two companies who have dropped out of the IDFA in protest of their corrupt actions.
The IDFA joined the GMA’s lawsuit along with three other trade groups and is suing the state of Vermont to try to overturn the mandatory GMO labeling which citizens voted for democratically.
This is an especially integrity-filled act by Stonyfield Farm and Clover since companies like Starbucks try to defend their membership in the GMA while continuing to sell GMO milk full of hormones that cause serious damage to human health.
The companies state that the “decision wasn’t that hard,” but admitted that they are “under fire” from consumers who support the policy, according to a letter sent to the head of the International Dairy Foods Association.
Britt Lundgren, director of organic and sustainable agriculture at Stonyfield Farm said:
“I don’t view this as a big loss for us. Stonyfield is a strong supporter of GMO labeling across the country.”
Other well-known dairy companies will continue to be part of the IDFA, including Horizon Organic, Aurora Organic Dairy and Organic Valley. These companies are also members of the Organic Trade Association, a vocal proponent of state GMO labeling initiatives, so perhaps they should reconsider their membership, if they want to continue to have a healthy customer base.
On July 8, an organic faction appeared within the IDFA when 5 members, all represented by another organic trade group, sent a letter to the association’s president to express their “deep concern and unhappiness” with IDFA’s decision to participate in the lawsuit.
“We are not clear why IDFA entered the lawsuit, as the labeling law does not affect dairy ingredients. As near as we can tell, this was an internal decision, with little or no consideration for the diverse interests of the membership,” the letter states.
The letter continues that the lawsuit gave the companies “serious pause” to consider whether IDFA could continue to be “a constructive association for those of us in the organic sector.” Two members later dropped their membership.
“I hope that IDFA takes this as message that they do need to do a better job of reaching out to all of their stakeholders,” Lundgren said.
But others, including Horizon Organic, Aurora Organic Dairy and Organic Valley, will retain their membership with the IDFA. They are also members of the Organic Trade Association, a vocal proponent of state GMO labeling initiatives.
“We still belong to the IDFA,” wrote Sara Loveday, a spokesperson for Horizon Organic, which is a subsidiary of the Denver, Colorado-based WhiteWave Foods Company, in an email to VTDigger. “But the organization has agreed that our dues have not and will not be used for anti-labeling efforts.”
Horizon decided to stay with the IDFA in order to have a seat at the table, Loveday said.
“We believe that the most effective option for fighting the IDFA’s anti-labeling actions is to use the power of our memberships to voice our opposition to their approach. As you referenced, we have made it clear to the IDFA that we do not approve of their decision to join GMA’s lawsuit against the state of Vermont, and we are in ongoing discussions with them about their position,” Loveday wrote.
Peggy Armstrong, a spokeswoman for the IDFA, said as far as she knows, no other members have withdrawn.
“We’re sad to lose any member,” Armstrong said. The company represents 200 dairy companies, many of which she said agree with the trade group’s position. “We have not been hearing from a lot of people saying they support Vermont.”
You can support Stonyfield Farm and Clover by purchasing their products, and also tell the International Dairy Foods Association to STOP their involvement in the lawsuit against Vermont.