portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

health | police / legal

Feds threaten to shut down Genesis Juice / Military Vehicles seen entering Eugene on Train

GENESIS GETTING SQUEEZED BY FEDS

Without a miracle, Genesis Juice Co-op, Eugene's only raw juice company since 1977, will soon close.

Their products do not comply with a new FDA law that prohibits the distribution of juice not treated by pasteurization or another anti-bacterial process.

"War is OK, cigarettes are OK, but raw juice is not OK? Give me a break," says Melissa Druck, worker/owner at Genesis since 1998.
I saw a bunch of military hardware on a train coming into Eugene this morning; I wonder if this is related??
Maybe they think people won't stand for this.

--------------


GENESIS GETTING SQUEEZED BY FEDS

Without a miracle, Genesis Juice Co-op, Eugene's only raw juice company since 1977, will soon close.

Their products do not comply with a new FDA law that prohibits the distribution of juice not treated by pasteurization or another anti-bacterial process.

"War is OK, cigarettes are OK, but raw juice is not OK? Give me a break," says Melissa Druck, worker/owner at Genesis since 1998.


The legislation, the Juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Law, requires "very" small businesses to comply with the new anti-bacterial requirements by February 2004.

Until three weeks ago, Genesis thought they had several months to find a solution to their dilemma. It turns out they're too successful to be considered a very small business. They distribute more than 350,000 units per year of juice ranging from pint to half gallon sizes, and grossed more than $500,000 in one year. They're nine months into this year's production, and say they are operating illegally.

Is pasteurization an option for a company whose slogan reads "Fresh raw juice to bring you life"?

"Raw juice is what we're about. It goes against our mission to do anything else," said worker/owner Claudia Sepp, who has worked with Genesis since 1983. The company has ruled out ultraviolet and other processes that would reduce the nutritional value of the juices.

Their process is simple: They wash carefully selected fruits and vegetables, press them gently to preserve live enzymes and vitamins and bottle and distribute the juice to about 50 stores in the Eugene and Portland areas, in addition to selling directly from their production plant on 3rd Avenue. If Genesis sold the juice directly to the public, the law would not apply, says three-year worker/owner Ben Cutler.

This process does not meet government standards. The workers at Genesis watch the mail for a letter from the state's Department of Agriculture that will demand their immediate closure. The state agency enforces the federal law.

But you wouldn't know the enterprise is doomed judging by the activity in the production plant. Workers walk through with gloves pulled to their elbows, and the juice press continues to hum.

"We still have juice to make, and orders to fill," says Druck.

In a fight keep Genesis afloat, the company is working with local lawyers to find a loophole. "But we're probably going to close," Druck says. "We're a small company. We can't fight the government." Tara Stubblefield
solution 25.Sep.2003 21:19

alex

Since the gubment wouldn't care if Genesis sold directly to consumers, simply designate all the distribution points as honorary worker/owners without voting rights. It would take a long time for it to play out in court if challenged and likely would be dropped.

Paranoia 26.Sep.2003 01:26

Agent X

Talk about paranoid. You think the military is coming to shut down your juice shop? They have better things to be doing.

I think this is old news that isn't accurate anyway 26.Sep.2003 10:38

coop supporter

I heard a few weeks ago that there IS a loophole about pasteurizing that has to do with water content or something that means that Genesis will be in compliance with the law. The author of this article might want to do some investigative journalism and call the company and ask them what's up.

. 27.Sep.2003 14:17

.

the article is from this week's Eugene Weekly

shooting themselves in their Birkenstock-clad feet 16.Feb.2004 21:09

Leah seventhhousesun@aol.com

I think the Genesis juice people are being very, very stupid. It is naive to think you can gross a half million a year and still not have to comply with governmental regulations. The cooperative is no longer small, and the juice, at $4.00 for a small bottle, is not inexpensive. It is the best juice around, and would continue to be so if their owners would just follow the Odwalla route and flash-pasteurize it. The amount of nutrients that would disappear as a result of this process would be negligible, and the cooperative would still continue to employ people in our shaky economy, while providing a high-quality product. Come on, people--like it or not, government beaurocracies are here to stay, and businesses have to conform to health standards--this is nothing new. It sucks that cigarettes can be purchased anywhere, while raw juice is considered harmful--but cigarette companies get sued all the time, it's a huge business, with vast insurance reserves.

Friends for Genesis Juice 03.Mar.2004 19:38

Jay Hadley

Untitled DocumentI would like to organize a grass roots organization to help Genesis Juice partition the FDA called "Friends for Genesis Juice. www.silvereagledesign.com/eugene/


Raw juice Direct 05.Mar.2004 14:39

Benjamin Cutler - Genesis Juice Cooperative genesis@efn.org

Stupid is a big word, Leah. I'm sorry you feel that way about us. We're trying our best to provide you with a choice where the gov is trying to take them away.
Flash pastuerization destroys all of the natural enzymes present in any form of raw juice. You can't replace those enzymes with vitamins and additives. There is plenty of proof of this.

Direct sales of raw juice is legal according to FDA regs. Genesis Juice is back in production. We are only selling direct to the consumer out of our warehouse at this point but hope to expand our direct sales to the Portland area with online ordering and drop points around town where people will be able to pick up their orders. If this interests you please voice your support by emailing us at  genesis@efn.org.

Raw juice and foods are a way of life for many. In fact raw juice has been known to help people heal themselves from supposedly incurable diseases. Why is it okay to sell cigarrettes which cause cancer and not okay to sell raw juice that is healing??? hmmm.. well, go figure...

(541) 344-0967