Certain soy milk no longer labeled 'organic'

Organic-food shoppers are making a rude discovery at their grocers’ refrigerated display case.

"White Wave Silk Vanilla Soymilk is no longer Organic," declares a hand-lettered sign at the two Sunflower Shoppes in Tarrant County.

Silk has more than 70 percent of the market. Until this month, Sunflower routinely re-ordered it, thinking it was certified organic.

But its maker, Dallas-based Dean Foods, quietly removed the word "organic" from the familiar blue cartons Jan. 15 and switched to cheaper beans — not genetically modified but likely grown with chemical fertilizer and possibly pesticide — then called it "all natural" soy milk.

Dean did not change the product’s identifying bar code or package design, nor did it significantly alter the price — moves that would have triggered scrutiny by store owners, some of whom now feel duped. A number of other Silk products were similarly changed from organic without a new bar code, Dean confirmed.

A reintroduced Silk organic line — in green cartons — carries new bar codes but is not as widely available.

"We don’t want to be part of customer deception," said Erika McCarthy, a member of the third generation of her family to operate the Sunflower health food stores in Fort Worth and Colleyville.

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