Vista, CA–On September 19, Dr. Bronner's a family-owned natural brand of soap and organic body care products, announced the company’sresignationfrom the Organic Trade Association (OTA), citing the OTA was drifting from its core principles and the association comprised its initial position against Senate Bill 764 or what critics have labeled the DARK (Deny Americans their Rights to Know) Act.

In August, David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s, wrote a blog for theHuffington Post, in which he described how he and other movement leaders believe the Dark Act was made possible due to actions by Laura Batcha, the executive director of the OTA, Missy Hughes, board chair of OTA and general counsel of Organic Valley, and with support from George Siemon, Organic Valley’s CEO. Bronner accused the trio of “[betraying] the movement to mandate labeling of GMOs in America,” by “acting unilaterally and endorsing the Stabenow Roberts legislation, without review and approval of the OTA board.”

Bronner also pointed out that the company would resign from the OTA if actions were not taken by “September to remedy the leadership problems” and the explanation given in support for the bill, that “dairy and meat products from animals fed GMO grain cannot automatically make a GMO-free claim” and “organic products can claim to be produced without genetic engineering” (which was already the case) was self-serving when compared to “citizens’ rights to mandate disclosure of the presence of GMOs.”

Following the company’s resignation, Dr. Bronner's has pledged to help power consumer, farmer and industry organizations that more “authentically and courageously represent the vision of regenerative organic agriculture, versus the disaster of soil destroying industrial agriculture.”

“We are particularly thrilled to support the Rodale Institute’s new Organic Farming Association and the expansion of their regional teaching farms across the country, as well as participate in the North American General Assembly of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) at Expo East,” said Bronner in a press release. “We encourage all true organic companies, whether they choose to remain a part of the OTA or not, to support and participate in both.”

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online 9/28/2016