The other day Andy told me I should fertilize the strawberries. I told him I would go online to see what they need. I settled on compost around the plants. Andy asked me, “what about the organic Miracle-Gro in the garage?”
“What organic Miracle-Gro ?” I replied.
So I went and looked. Sure enough, there was a bottle of organic Miracle-Gro. On the back it states “Great Results for the Organic Gardener.”
I don’t know which one of us bought this product, but I’m guessing it was probably either me grabbing it in response to Andy wanting to get Miracle-Gro or him bringing it home for me.
So, what’s in it?
All that is stated on the label is that it is derived from sugar beet molasses.
And I just happen to know that sugar beets are one of the largest genetically modified crops.
So I called the number on the back of the bottle. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I have a bottle of Organic Choice Miracle-Gro and I want to know if it is really organic.
Operator: Can you give me the last 5 digits of the UPC code.
I did, and then got put on hold while she looked it up.
Operator: Sorry for the wait. If it says organic on the bottle, it is organic.
Me: Well, it says organic on the bottle but it doesn’t say the ingredients are organic.
Operator: Does it say OCIA on the label? That’s the organic certification we use.
Me: I don’t see it. And then I read her this from the label:
“This specially made formula only available from Miracle-Gro Organic Choice All Purpose Plant Food Concentrate is all-natural, derived from sugar beet molasses.”
The operator seemed to have pulled up a picture by then, and said, “oh, it’s the brown bottle.”
Operator: No ma’am, this bottle doesn’t have the organic seal and isn’t certified for organic gardening. Any of our products that are certified organic will say OCIA on them.
Ironic, because right above what I read her it says “Great Results for the Organic Gardener!” With an exclamation point, mind you.
Me: Well, I’m not going to use it then, and I would like to register a complaint that you are misleading your customers with your labeling. Thank you for your help.
Operator: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: No thank you.
There was no acknowledgement by her of my complaint, so I’m going to send the company an email. Meanwhile, I thought I’d at least post this and maybe it will save someone from dumping non-organic stuff into their organic gardens.
Because even when you read labels carefully you can be duped.