Earth Balance Betrays Consumers With False Non-GMO and Organic Claims

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by Natasha Longo –

Earth Balance is a company that claims to “take the health of our planet just as seriously as we take the wellness of our customers.” They also assert this position with a Non-GMO commitment believing in “environmental protection and agricultural methods that work in harmony with nature.” When we investigated Earth Balance, we found these statements to be purely superficial marketing tactics designed to deceive consumers into purchasing foods manufactured with ingredients which completely contradict their corporate philosophy statements.

Many Kashi lovers were in disbelief after my report revealing the deceptive claims made by their breakfast products. As a Kellogg company, Kashi stays true their corporate masters and riddles their products with genetically modified (GM) and pesticide loaded ingredients.


The reason more organic and natural brands are being exposed is twofold: First, many of them are being bought out by large multi-national corporate food giants who then adopt their own protocols, including diminished standards of quality and deceptive policy practices considered normal across the industry; and second, agricultural and labeling practices have become so lax and unregulated by the USDA and other organic certification agencies, that they are practically redundant in terms of any protection to the consumer.

The largest food giants have one goal–profit. They couldn’t care less about the end consumer, their safety or the growing needs of a family, especially if that involves maintaining integrity through health conscious food choices. That’s why they produce the cheapest quality food on Earth with little nutritional value and maximum profit potential.

Health conscious consumers became wise to their game long ago. So the food giants had to evolve to continue to increase profits and capture these segments of the population they had lost. As small organic brands proliferated, they were bought out by the big boys who had the money, resources and branding power to reformulate high quality products into inferior substandard duplicates. This has happened to hundreds of organic brands and so the cycle continues.

There are now hundreds of trendy brands promoting a plant-based diet and earth-friendly lifestyle through their online portals and social communities. They attract raw foodies, vegans, vegetarians and just about anybody else who thrives on an alternative source to our troubled conventional food supply. These trendy umbrella affiliates have become very creative in how they reach out to the health conscious communities.

Earth Balance is just one of them.

Why You Should Never Buy Earth Balance Products

Earth Balance is a division of GFA Brands, Inc., an operating affiliate and subsidiary of Smart Balance. So who are they?

Smart Balance buttery spreads were first introduced in 1995 by GFA Brands. The company was previously known as Boulder Specialty Brands, Inc., and had its initial public offering in 2005. They changed their name to Smart Balance, Inc. in May 2007, when they acquired GFA Brands, Inc., a privately held company, which owned the Smart Balance and Earth Balance brands.

Their products can be found in almost every mainstream supermarket chain in the U.S. and Canada, as well as many larger format stores. Earth Balance products are found primarily in natural food as well as a growing number of regular supermarkets.

Smart Balance is already a fairly big player in their market niche. Their net sales are well over 300 million per year with well established profits and operating incomes that would impress any shareholder. But they didn’t get there by using the best ingredients and staying true to the people that bought into their market. They got there by using artful persuasion and malicious practices which deceive people into purchasing a message about food rather than a food that epitomizes the message.

Before I dive further into the details of Earth Balance products, I would like to categorically state that even before investigating this company, I never ate or purchased any of their products. I’ve always considered their product line junk food. In my opinion, healthy food does not contain processed GMO oils and Soy and it never will. These are two of the ingredients commonly used in many Earth Balance food products. Neither are a health food and both can cause serious health problems in the long-term.

Exposing Earth Balance Products

*** SPREADS ***

Toxic Ingredients = GMO Canola, GMO Soybean, Natural Flavor (GMO corn derived), Lactic Acid (from GMO Sugar Beets)
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

Olive Oil:

Toxic Ingredients = GMO Canola, GMO Soybean, Natural Flavor (GMO corn derived), Lactic Acid (from GMO Sugar Beets)
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

Soy Free:

Toxic Ingredients = GMO Canola, Natural Flavor (GMO corn derived), Lactic Acid (from GMO Sugar Beets)
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

Soy Garden:

Toxic Ingredients = GMO Soybean, GMO crushed Soybeans, Natural Flavor (GMO corn derived), Lactic Acid (from GMO Sugar Beets)
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

Organic Whipped:

Toxic Ingredients = GMO Canola, Lactic Acid (from GMO Sugar Beets)
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

*** SOY MILK ***

Soy (Toxic):
Soy in all of Earth Balance’s Soymilk does not follow the slow stringent fermentation process necessary to make soy non-toxic. Consequently the entire Soymilk product line is toxic by their primary ingredient.

Carrageenan (Toxic):

The entire Soymilk line also contains Carrageenan, which acts as an emulsifer and stabilizer. All Carrageenan is typically extracted using powerful alkaline solvents. Even at low doses, it has been found to destroy human cells and is linked to various human cancers and digestive disorders. Carrageenan has also been found to impair and depress cell-mediated immunity and cause the proliferation of tumour growth. The mechanism responsible for carrageenan-induced immune suppression is believed to be its selective degenerative effect on white blood cells.


All Dressings contain GMO Canola


Toxic Ingredients = GMO Canola

Vegan Butter Sticks:
Toxic Ingredients = GMO Canola, GMO Soybean, Natural Flavor (GMO corn derived), Lactic Acid (from GMO Sugar Beets)


All Nut Butters contain:
Toxic Ingredients = Agave Syrup
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil


Organic Coconut:
Toxic Ingredients = GMO Canola Oil, Lactic Acid (from GMO Sugar Beets)
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

Organic Sweet Cinnamon:
Toxic Ingredients = Crushed Soybeans, Soybean Oil, Soy Lecithin
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

Organic Sweet Cinnamon:
Toxic Ingredients = Crushed Soybeans, Soybean Oil, Soy Lecithin
Eco Destructive Ingredients = Palm Fruit Oil

After reviewing all of the above, is this a company that takes the health of our planet just as serious as they do health and wellness? They do not protect the environment or source ingredients from agricultural methods that work in harmony with nature. They do not uphold their Non-GMO commitment and they continue to use toxic emulsifiers and sweeteners.

Earth Balance should be ashamed of their misrepresentation and I urge you to help educate others by sharing this information with as many health conscious consumers as possible. The only way we will stimulate a call for action and bring a greater sense of integrity to the health food industry is by exposing companies like Smart Balance and their subsidiary Earth Balance.

50 Comments on Earth Balance Betrays Consumers With False Non-GMO and Organic Claims

  1. thank you, but who makes a butter spread for people who can't eat dairy or wheat products…that tastes good and is spreadable and usable for baking??? I'm upset about this because we have been buying lots of their products, but won't anymore. Thank you!

  2. Coeli Velky

    Coconut oil is a great healthy alternative. Ghee, also called clarified butter is another great butter alternative, it is naturally processed to take the milk solids out, can be stored at room temp indefinitely and is a staple in Indian diets, it is a suitable alternative for those who are sensitive to dairy or wheat. The company Spectrum makes a non-hydrogenated shortening from organic palm oil.

  3. Erin Sharlene

    Becel makes a good vegan gluten free butter spread. Tastes good, and good for baking…and cheaper!

  4. Karm Kline

    I would love to see the scientific data that backs-up these claims. Please provide source information so that Healthy News' credibility can be sustained.

  5. Jefforey Ford

    EARTH BALANCE HATES GMO! Look on their website! This is what it says: All Earth Balance® products are non-GMO and most are verified by the Non-GMO Project. We are constantly working toward getting as many products verified as possible and you can rest assured that no GMOs will ever find their way into an Earth Balance package. We pinky swear. Seriously. Plus, Earth Balance® Soymilk is actually the first refrigerated soymilk ever to be Non-GMO Project Verified, and our peanut and almond butters are verified too—not a common label in the nut butter aisle.

    We are also proud to sponsor the Institute for Responsible Technology, a non-profit founded by Jeffery Smith, who is trying to create a tipping point of consumer demand for non-GMO products. That way, if nobody buys foods with GMOs, our food system will be forced to change its course and go back to natural foods. Pretty inspiring stuff.

  6. Thank you so much! I never "bought" into their marketing strategies… I would read the ingredients and feel something fishy, beside the cheap canola. Plus, when they start getting into big chain supermarkets is a big no no…. thanks for sharing ;).

  7. try coconut oil, use for cooking n on ur body~ i keep a jar in mybedroom n one in kitchen for cooking, doesn't burn or splatter. i stopped using these products awhile back! look up all uses for coconut oil~

  8. Nicole DiBona

    The peanut butter is Non-GMO project verified and they are very strict on how companies get this verification. I am going to look further into this and post this on NGPV page.

  9. i emailed them once b c some of their spreads r not labeled organic, which contain some of the above ingred. they told me their earth balance had organic ingred. ?

  10. Michelle Bush

    I would also like to know your sources, since there seems to be conflicting information. Could you cite the source material, please?

  11. Wendy Mizerek

    You should be ashamed to spread lies and rumors!! This is NOT true at all. If you do your research, Earth Balance does not use GMOs. It's on their website, in their response to THIS article, and they are listed on the non GMO Project website. Their products are organic, and by definition cannot contain GMOs. I am not buying some big cover up. I am curious what FACTS this person has to back this up, as none was mentioned in the "article". You cannot believe everything you read on the Internet. Do your own research.

  12. Melanie Powers

    Julie Wiegand all you did was link to the exact same article that is already posted here…just from another website…with a little more detail. Earth Balance states on their website that all of their products are non-gmo and many are verified with the Non GMO project..which is an organization I trust. I will be contacting the company tomorrow to find out for sure. I'll keep you posted.

  13. This whole article is pretty much a bunch of BS! First off not ALL soy, sugar beets and canola are GMO, true about 90% are but there are still farmers out there farming the good stuff! Secondly Earth Balance has contributed financially to labeling laws such as YES PROP 37 in California and I-522 in Washington state. Ms. Longo should be ashamed that she is dragging this comapany's name through the mud since they are fighting the good fight!

  14. Julie Wiegand you have no idea what you are posting! The article you keep referring back to is the EXACT same article as the one posted here!! Earth Balance has made financial contributions for the yes side of prop 37 and fully endorse I-522 in Washington state!! GET YOUR FACTS before aiding in slandering a company that is helping us to fight for our right to know!!

  15. Um, 99% of canola is GMO, so if the product contains canola, it contains GMO. GMO and organic are exclusive of one another, as GMO is a state of existence and organic is a method of farming. However the way the plants are GMO makes it necessary to grow them without organic farming techniques. Definitely fishy. And the way the plants have been modified makes them toxic to your body. Either way I wouldn't touch any of this stuff, especially since it's being sold is mass quantities at supermarkets.

  16. Paula DelaFaria

    Linda Martin-Seng…why wouldn't you ask for sources or some sort of proof before just believing that this story is true. It is highly doubtful and there are ZERO sources listed. Don't be a sheep!

  17. Paula DelaFaria

    Julie Wiegand This is just the SAME EXACT article. This is NOT a source, it's the article above.

  18. Sharyn Bass

    I have bought their spreads and have noticed that one is marked on the front as "organic" and the other is not. Perhaps this adds to the confusion.

  19. Where's the evidence backing up even a single one of these claims? This strikes me as completely bogus. The Earth Balance line is no worse than any other processed alternative product line as far as I can tell, and I see no reason to believe any of this is true. While we certainly can't say for certain that The Non-GMO Project or USDA Organic labels are foolproof and without any doubt, what else do we have? This article doesn't mention a single source to prove any of its claims, which makes it 110% worthless. Yes, it would be nice to get away from more processed stuff, and it would be nice to get products that don't use palm oil and vitamin A palmitate, etc., but unless you plan to continue supporting the corrupt and far more harmful dairy industry, or start making your own vegan butter, you're out of luck.

  20. Don't believe everything you read. This article doesn't have a single source to back up even one of its claims. This is nose-leading of the highest order, not to mention shoddy journalism. I won't stand up for Earth Balance and say they're wonderful because I don't know if they are or aren't, but I highly doubt they're any worse than any other processed line of alternative products. And at the very least, this article is baseless and almost entirely without merit. While it would be nice to get away from some of the negative ingredients included here, if you plan to buy something from a store, this is what you're going to get. Palm oil is one of the most common ingredients that exists in processed foods, and canola oil remains toxic when cooked whether it's GMO or not. And that's also one of the most common ingredients in processed foods.

  21. I would like to know how you can make these claims without proof to back it up. How do you KNOW that all of these ingredients are GMO? What proof do you have? Quote your sources or you should delete this misinformation.

  22. Coeli Velky Its is a staple of the Indian diet. Indian men have the highest incidence of Atherosclerosis of any group of people on the planet.

  23. Coeli Velky Its is a staple of the Indian diet. Indian men have the highest incidence of Atherosclerosis of any group of people on the planet.

  24. Symynee Sysk

    I AM NOT SURPRISE !! Earth balance is as always bean OGM AND OIL PLAM TOO en + lagave syrup modifié savez -vous que les ingrédients modifé est extrement dangereux ce sont des corps étrangers modifié etc… MODIFIED IS AN EXTREME DANGEROUS…!!! MY ASS THEY NON OGM…!!!
    voici ce qui contient dans le pot beurre arachides CONTAINS: PEANUTS.

  25. Gregg Welch

    I finally made a decision on earth balance vs butter: Earth balance has "natural flavors" as one of its ingredients. I believe that "Natural Flavors" is a Nestlé's trademark and represents a grouping of chemicals made by the Nestlé's corporation to enhance and modify the flavor of many thousands of products, mostly in the processed foods arena. Anyone else have some information on this, any food scientists out there?

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