UPDATE: The organic lie

Posted: 14. January 2012 in fails
Tags: , , , , , ,

I always thought that HIPP is a company that keeps what it promises and doesn’t confidence trick you as a health-conscious parent.

Well, today I was thought a lesson when I went shopping.

When I saw this product in the baby-food-shelf, I was immediately convinced that all ingredients are organic and it would be the best thing to get for my baby:

I don’t know what made me do it, perhaps the mistrust that has developed over the years of food-product-lies, but I turned the box around to have a detailed look at the ingredients.

What I found was this:

There are a two questions that immediately come to mind:

  • Why do you name a product ‘organic’ if not all ingredients are organic?
  • How can you list a non-organic ingredient in the list of ‘our organic ingredients‘?

Maybe I am overreacting, but I think this is very disappointing for a company that states:

‘Here at HiPP we are passionate in our belief in using organic foods for babies and toddlers.’ 

I have contacted HIPP asking for a statement to this blog-post of mine and will post their response once I have received it. That’s the least I can do, to give them a chance to help us understand their point of view.

Ultimately what I want to achieve with this post is, that if you are a parent trying to find healthy, organic food for your child, you might want to have a second look at the ‘small-print’ before you buy.


Update 17.01.2011:

I have received a very quick and detailed response from HiPP and, as promised, here it is:

Dear Christoph

Thank you for your e.mail from which we are sorry to hear you are disappointed with the labelling and composition of HiPP Organic Apple Elephant Biscuits.

The composition and labelling of organic foods is tightly controlled by the Organic Foods and also by the Food Labelling Regulations and HiPP complies with all the requirements of this legislation.  For foods to be labelled as organic, at least 95% of the ingredients must come from organically produced plants and animals and the product must have been inspected and certified by a registered certification body.  In this case the product has been approved by the organic certification body in the country of manufacture (Switzerland), and also by the UK organic certifier the Soil Association.

Both certifiers ensure that the product meets all the required legislation in terms of organic quality and labelling.

Because some ingredients are not available organically, up to 5% ingredients from a list of approved non-organic food ingredients are allowed. There are also a limited number of non-food ingredients such as yeast, salt, water, and a restricted number of additives and processing aids are allowed, some of which are legally required (such as iron and thiamin in flour).

Bothwith non-organic food ingredients and additives there is an extremely strict list of permitted ingredients to ensure that nothing harmful or potentially harmful will be found in organic food. This explains why this product contains the two highlighted non-organic ingredients, used only because no organic alternatives were available.

With regards to the labelling of organic products, the labels must identify the organic and non-organic ingredients in the ingredient panel in the same colour, size and style of lettering as the organic ingredients.  This is done with these HiPP biscuits.

I hope you are happy with this explanation and that you are reassured that, although these biscuits contain small amounts of 2 non-organic ingredients, this has only been done because organic alternatives were not available and their use has been approved.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again.


Kind regards

Helen G.

HiPP UK Nutritionist

  1. dearfriends says:

    Hello Sleepless,
    Thanks for this post–with pictures! It is amazing how GREED overcomes moral compass when folks are selling products. Would you like to post a list of companies that we can trust? Are there any companies we can trust? Thanks, Barb

  2. wartica says:

    I totally agree; who knows what we’re really getting in our foods and drinks. It’s also very misleading to put something as “organic,” when it’s truly not. Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:))

  3. Harry JD Tate says:

    Good day,

    Well we never by baby foods, etc. We make everything pure, natural, etc for our daughter. And for us, we look at everything we buy. The ingredients, GDA’s, nutritional info. You get used to it and it’s good to be familiar with what you put into your body 😉

    It’s all that simple.
    1. Make things yourself (then you know what you’re giving your kids … And yourself !
    2. Or check the ingredients, etc do you know what you’re buying and speak up if you don’t like what you read !

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