[UPDATED on Sept. 6, 2011] The Green PolkaDot Box is a new online “organics” store that is set to open in early October. It is an online buying club that is soliciting memberships. According to Mike Adams, this club is being supported by none other than Natural News, the Organic Consumer’s Association, and The Institute for Responsible Technology.
Something significant is happening in the organic foods industry: There’s a new player on the block, and its name is Green PolkaDot Box. It’s a new online organic store that’s launching in just a few weeks, and it has the potential to save organic and non-GMO consumers thousands of dollars a year on foods and health products. (Natural News)
Good news? On the surface, this seems like an excellent idea. However, upon further investigation, it appears that The Green PolkaDot Box may not be what it seems to be. I went to the products page on the company’s website and looked up one of its products – Earth’s Best. Earth’s Best sells USDA Certified Organic baby food. The products that I saw did not have the 100% Organic label, nor did they have any type of non-GMO certified label. Why? Maybe because Earth’s Best is owned by the Hain Celestial Group, which is also represented by the Box. But who owns Hain? Let’s just follow the money, and go to the NASDAQ site to find out the company’s current stock ownership.
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN) Stock Holdings Summary (Ownership)
This company gets around. Even George Soros dipped his fingers into the pie:
One of the company’s supporters was billionaire George Soros, whose Soros Fund Management bought a 16 percent stake in early 1997 and still owned nearly ten percent in October 1998. White Rock, a Texas corporation and limited partnership, owned 20.1 percent. Simon held 10.7 percent of the shares. (Funding Universe)
This is from the Organic Consumer’s Association’s own website in 2003:
HERE ARE THE DETAILS: Bearitos, Bread Shop Granola, Celestial Seasonings, Garden of Eatin’, Health Valley, Imagine Foods (Rice Dream), Terra Chips, and Westbrae (canned vegetables, soy drinks, pastas, Little Bear Corn Chips), are all owned by the Hain Food Group whose prime investments are managed by companies like “Wellington Management.”
Their principal stockholders are PHILIP MORRIS (cigarettes), MONSANTO (genetically modified food), CITIGROUP (rainforest destruction), (genetically modified foods), EXXONMOBIL (global warming), WAL-MART, ENTERGY NUCLEAR, LOCKHEED MARTIN (weapons), WASTE MANAGEMENT INC (giant landfills), PFIZER (drugs), MERCK (drugs), BANK OF AMERICA (racial discrimination) & (animal cruelty), etc. All of the above are themselves significantly owned by Citigroup, “the World’s Most Destructive Bank” –Rainforest Action Network. Citigroup backs corporate prisons, Third World debt, genetic engineering, predatory lending, and rainforest destruction. H.J. Heinz Co. owns nearly 20% of Hain: Editorial in Natural Progressions, by Bob Swientek 11/99: “Back in April, I wrote in this column that the corporate suits (mainstream food manufacturers) were overrunning the tofu eaters (natural foods processors) at the Natural Products Expo-West. Well, the “run” is now a full-fledged sprint.
In September, Heinz bought a 19.5% stake in Hain Food Group for nearly $100 million. Hain, the leading producer of natural foods in the country with annual sales of $206 million in ’99, acquired the Earth’s Best baby food brand in the deal. By gaining entry into the natural and organic foods arena, Heinz may be in the initial stages of reinventing itself. It better…most of its businesses, including its profitable ketchup franchise, are slow growth.” Heinz itself is owned by same mutual funds that own Hain, and its prime stockholders include the same multinationals. € Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen are owned by Small Planet Foods which is owned by GENERAL MILLS, whose principal investors are PHILIP MORRIS, EXXONMOBIL, GENERAL ELECTRIC, CHEVRON, NIKE, McDONALD’S, TARGET STORES, STARBUCK’S, MONSANTO, DUPONT (weapons & pesticides), DOW CHEMICAL (Agent Orange, breast implants, napalm), PEPSICO, ALCOA ALUMINUM, DISNEY (exploit Third World labor), TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (weapons: one of GW Bush’s top contributors), PFIZER. (Organic Consumer’s Association)
Natural News touts The Green PolkaDot Box as supporting “small organic product companies.” Here is Reason #3 of why Natural News, The Organic Consumer’s Association, and The Institute for Responsible Technology support the Green PolkaDot Box, according to Mike Adams:
Reason #3) We believe in creating more distribution opportunities for small organic product companies which have wonderful products that need to be better represented in the marketplace. As part of their operations, Green PolkaDot Box plans to bring in a wide array of products from small, under-publicized companies whose products deserve more mainstream distribution. Unlike many food retail chains, GPDB does not charge “marketing fees” to carry products from companies.(Natural News)
The statement above lends one to believe that your friendly neighborhood farmer will be represented by the Box. Finally, the little guy gets a break. This is good. But not all of the Box’s products come from small organic companies that are under-represented. Here is some information about Vanguard, the fifth largest stockholder of HAIN:
Vanguard is unusual among mutual-fund companies since it is owned by the funds themselves. In this structure, each fund contributes a set amount of capital towards shared management, marketing, and distribution services. The company says that this structure better orients management towards shareholder interests. (Wikipedia)
What does this mean? It means that the people/institutions that invest in the long list of shares from companies such as Monsanto, Halliburton, Coca Cola, McDonalds, JP Morgan Chase, Phillip Morris, Pepsico, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and who knows how many other ne’er do wells listed on the 190 page NASDAQ report, actually own Vanguard.
In the light of this information, how does Hain Celestials qualify as one of the “small organic product companies, which have wonderful products that need to be better represented in the marketplace?” It doesn’t. It is one of the many conglomerates that promote organics while behind the scenes, is partially owned by people who support some of the worst enemies of organics. It is a money-making enterprise with organic lipstick. Can we spell SELLOUT? Betcha they are betting we can’t.
But let’s give the top organics and non-GMO guys the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they don’t really mean to support something that has ties to organizations that if stepped on, would need to be scraped off the bottom of your shoe before entering the house. And maybe, just maybe, pigs CAN fly. So, why are they doing it?
I’ve communicated with Rod, CEO of the Box, and he has stated, in essence, that he really doesn’t care where the products come from just as long as they are healthy products. How can we be sure that the products made by companies with such a checkered background as Hain Celestials are really what they appear to be? We can’t. I have also communicated with Mike Adams, and he has indicated that he is working with the Box to get rid of products such as Hain Celestials. Let’s hope that they do. Because I cannot, in good conscience, have anything to do with a company that promotes and sells “organic” products that are produced by a company partially owned by the likes of people who also support Monsanto et. al.
© 2011 Barbara H. Peterson