Transparency in grocery

This article was originally published in November 2013

Soon after this paper arrives at PCC member homes, we’ll know whether Initiative 522 to label genetically engineered foods has passed or failed at the ballot box. Either way, PCC Natural Markets remains committed to transparency in the food supply and especially in what we sell to you, our valued community neighbors and friends.

Win or lose I-522, PCC already has pledged to join other retailers and identify genetically engineered foods in our stores by 2018. We also have talked about how we might help provide transparency in what companies own what brands. We have heard many requests for this information over the past 18 months.

PCC realizes that providing such product information should be part of a larger discussion about product attributes, which ones are the most important to track, and how we might coordinate them in a package we can manage and update over time. (A brochure identifying the corporations that own many popular brands is now available in stores, to make it easy for shoppers to support the brands they prefer, or not. — January 2015)

Challenge to Country-of-Origin

The American Meat Institute (AMI) and seven other meat and livestock organizations are suing to block implementation of a country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in May 2013.

Their lawsuit claims the final rule for COOL violates the U.S. Constitution by compelling speech on what it claims are costly and detailed labels that do not advance our national interest. It also claims the law does not permit the kind of “detailed and onerous labeling requirements” of the final COOL rule and imposes vast burdens on the industry with little or no benefit.

In addition to AMI, plaintiffs include the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association, Southwest Meat Association and American Association of Meat Processors.

Also in this issue

Maple syrup: a healthy, versatile sweetener

As the leaves turn color, a pancake stack topped with real maple syrup makes a welcome treat. The taste difference between real and artificial maple syrup is as distinct as between butter and margarine.

Letters to the editor, November 2013

Veterans farming, Yes on I-522, WIC and organics, and more

Soil & sea: reports from our producers

Organic sales continue to grow around the world. Also, learn about the record year for Columbia River fall Chinook, local efforts to sleuth out the cause of bumblebee decline, the effects of algae in Northwest waters, and more.