Skip to main content

Organic food purveyor Eden Foods is suing the department of Health and Human Services because they don't want their insurance to cover birth control and other women's health care, as required by the Affordable Care Act.

When the news broke, I wrote a letter to the company, expressing my disappointment, and letting them know I would no longer buy their products.

Dear Eden,

I have been a loyal customer for decades. Unfortunately, I can no longer purchase your products in good conscience, since you have decided to treat grown women as if they are toddlers unable to make their own medical or moral decisions. Shame on you.

Sincerely, your former customer, [me]

Moments ago, a reply appeared in my inbox:
17 April 2013
Greetings,

Please be discerning consumers. Grotesque mischaracterizations about Eden Foods' action related to the Health & Human Services (HHS) mandate, Affordable Care Act, are most regrettable.

On March 21st, 2013 a press release announced our lawsuit against the unconstitutional government overreach in the HHS mandate. This announcement was made to the media and general public. We apologize for the unintended consternation given rise to by this action.

Eden Foods' health care provider is required by the HHS to comply with all details of the Affordable Care Act. Parts of the mandate violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. This overreach of the federal government infringes on religious freedoms.

It is discriminatory that not all employers have to comply with the HHS mandate. Millions of people and thousands of companies are exempt. The exemptions under the Act are illogical, inconsistent, and contributing factors to our lawsuit. For instance, McDonald's Inc. and 166 unions are exempt. Small employers are exempt. Individuals who practice certain faiths are exempt, while individuals who practice other faiths are not. Federal employees are exempt, and this is hypocritical. There is no exemption for the religious freedoms of employers.

Eden employee benefits include health, dental, vision, life, and a fifty percent 401k match. The benefits have not funded "lifestyle drugs," an insurance industry drug classification that includes contraceptives, Viagra, smoking cessation, weight-loss, infertility, impotency, etc. This entire plan is managed with a goal of long-term sustainability.

We believe in a woman's right to decide, and have access to, all aspects of their health care and reproductive management. This lawsuit does not block, or intend to block, anyone's access to health care or reproductive management. This lawsuit is about protecting religious freedom and stopping the government from forcing citizens to violate their conscience. We object to the HHS mandate and its government overreach.

This is an important matter that deserves attention from us all.  

Our actions have been, and will remain, principled and transparent. Eden's focus is pure food, ethical business practice, and the nurturing of all people and the planet.

Respectfully,
Michael Potter, President
Eden Foods, Inc.                          701 Tecumseh Road, Clinton, Michigan 49236 U.S.A
ph 517 456-7424    ·    fax 517 456-6075    ·   info@edenfoods.com   ·   edenfoods.com

Here's my response to this response:
Dear Mr. Potter,

Thank you for confirming my understanding of the situation.

A corporation is a chartered entity that has no religious beliefs. You are not your corporation and it is not you. As such, the corporation offering health insurance is not the same as you personally offering that insurance. The corporation's money is not your money. Your personal beliefs have no place in determining how health care benefits offered by the corporation to the corporation's employees are spent by those employees. Choosing to impose your religious beliefs on the corporation's employees is in direct violation of those employees' constitutional rights to freedom of religion and privacy.

We will avoid your products from now on.

Sincerely,
[me]

I love how he started his letter by essentially insulting anyone who wrote to begin with. I think he's about to see a drastic loss of profits. The fundies are not his company's target demographic - most of them can't afford to shop in the places where his foods sell.

Please take advantage of the contact information at the end of Mr. Potter's letter to let Eden know your opinion of their attempt to curtail their employees' religious freedom.

11:18 AM PT: Several People have asked about what products Eden makes. They have a fairly extensive product line, all of which are under the Eden name (look for Eden on the label.

Most common is their Edensoy soy milk.

They also make canned beans and tomatoes, condiments, dry pasta, dried fruit and seeds, juices, apple sauce, oils and vinegars, teas and spices.

11:36 AM PT: Thanks for the rec's folks! I've got to go out for several hours, please spread the word and let Mr. Potter know how ill-conceived (heh) his law suit is.

Originally posted to Radical Simplicity on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pro Choice and Environmental Foodies.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

RichM, Grassroots Mom, Angie in WA State, Doug in SF, Joe Bob, Mimikatz, Sylv, DeminNewJ, vicki, Ducktape, RF, filkertom, Radiowalla, True North, MadRuth, melo, grollen, teacherken, Bendygirl, badger, Powered Grace, PeterHug, Bob Love, scrape, bosdcla14, annalivia, byteb, simaramis, tacet, SanJoseLady, Vico, jdld, eeff, dsb, gecko, elfling, red moon dog, sobermom, delver rootnose, Bob Friend, Matilda, MarkInSanFran, exNYinTX, expatjourno, Creosote, madhaus, JLFinch, geordie, alain2112, busternjake, cfm, emmanuel, susans, EricS, cyberKosFan, whenwego, KMc, SlowNomad, mole333, boadicea, themank, PBnJ, fishwars, mkfarkus, LickBush, roses, denig, vmckimmey, Bronxist, sngmama, itskevin, oceanview, splashy, admiralh, abs0628, wader, Quege, RLF, dangoch, scorpiorising, psnyder, emmasnacker, TexDem, NYC Sophia, Kamakhya, figbash, Urizen, Eyesbright, kdrivel, TiaRachel, cosette, Damnit Janet, CarbonFiberBoy, DSC on the Plateau, Steven Payne, Sychotic1, GreatDane, betson08, lcrp, Lilith, zerelda, Kitsap River, WisVoter, hayden, TexasLefty, Jen Hayden, vivadissent, boran2, Josiah Bartlett, bibble, Limelite, decitect, Gowrie Gal, sb, davidkc, Skennet Boch, la motocycliste, bloomer 101, Bluesee, marina, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, tle, Ckntfld, ichibon, wmc418, UncleCharlie, blueyedace2, caul, Independent Musings, tolerant, irate, sap, Jersey Girl, Alice Venturi, one of 8, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, viral, TigerMom, skeptigal, EJP in Maine, Dobber, Kevskos, fixxit, eru, PSzymeczek, SaraBeth, Sun Tzu, ladybug53, Overseas, Ice Blue, peteri2, markdd, PinHole, Savvy813, Blu Gal in DE, leftynyc, grothenberger, Rogneid, Alan Arizona, terjeanderson, kathny, SoulCatcher, martini, third Party please, BachFan, Keone Michaels, myboo, cybersaur, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, Themistoclea, profundo, smokeymonkey, Audri, arlene, blueoasis, jguzman17, OffTheHill, global citizen, twigg, 4Freedom, gooderservice, mbdunn, CF Perez, Unitary Moonbat, middleagedhousewife, gogolagogo, CA Nana, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, SD Goat, shaharazade, Bernie68, Little, OHdog, Pandoras Box, kjmclark, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, FlamingoGrrl, bluicebank, peagreen, tgypsy, weneedahero, devis1, LSophia, Positronicus, karmsy, edsbrooklyn, LillithMc, la urracca, some other george, gustynpip, terabytes, dclawyer06, DWG, Uncle Moji, klondike, artisan, crose, cyncynical, Back In Blue, Timmethy, madgranny, Assaf, TomP, Empower Ink, VA Breeze, JDWolverton, MT Clarity, sk4p, left turn, JeffW, BobBlueMass, Shahryar, HappyinNM, Phil N DeBlanc, 6412093, Sixty Something, Involuntary Exile, smrichmond, elwior, skohayes, alasmoses, VL Baker, mikeconwell, boatjones, Cassandra Waites, Hanging Up My Tusks, Jeff Y, catly, envwq, mofembot, petulans, OrdinaryIowan, Uncle Bob, HarpboyAK, sagansong, dmhlt 66, DavidW, enufisenuf, shortgirl, statsone, maxcat06, legendmn, LaFeminista, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Ran3dy, rubyclaire, MufsMom, loftT, Glacial Erratic, Rick Aucoin, ARS, greengemini, not a cent, don mikulecky, banjolele, Nebraskablue, Methinks They Lie, janmtairy, DFH, earicicle, JesseCW, shalca, Munchkn, sfarkash, 57andFemale, Little Flower, jfromga, nancat357, Leftcandid, Larsstephens, ruscle, BlueOak, Railfan, CalGal47, commonmass, Christy1947, mamamorgaine, roadbear, estreya, gramofsam1, jethrock, piers, Anima, Luma, angelajean, Simple, pixxer, dlemex, beverlywoods, MsGrin, science nerd, nosleep4u, fiercefilms, soaglow, slice, djrez, redlum jak, MidwestTreeHugger, kayak58, Catherine R, pb3550, bgblcklab1, slowbutsure, afisher, sostos, henrythefifth, vahana, freesia, Cintimcmomma, OldGrammy, Eclectablog, asterkitty, lexalou, mikejay611, rg611, SoCaliana, deeproots, NormAl1792, futilitismo, mrsgoo, marleycat, zukesgirl64, Lorikeet, badscience, redacted stew, slooterdam, SueM1121, jhb90277, LSmith, MRA NY, voicemail, wintergreen8694, antimony, peregrine kate, Liberal Mole, VTCC73, disconnect the dots, Marihilda, SoCalSal, SteelerGrrl, DRo, bassinduo, allergywoman, PrometheusUnbound, Mortifyd, ArtemisBSG, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, Southern Lib, BlueDragon, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, daysey, ridemybike, anodnhajo, Voiceless, greenbastard, Siri, IndieGuy, Jakkalbessie, wordfiddler, ahumbleopinion, SilverWillow, LefseBlue, rustypatina, AnnieR, a2nite, ProvokingMeaning, HoofheartedBC, FloridaSNMOM, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, joeschmeaux, This old man, Syoho, rivercard, Arahahex, Olkate, MartyM, pittie70, Buckeye54, cuphalffull, cassandracarolina, tytalus, rat racer, jeannew, Victim of Circumstance, FrY10cK, AuntieRa, GAladybug, MikeIa, Bisbonian, Robynhood too, Chaddiwicker, MishaBrewer, jusjtim35, Sam Sara, TheMeansAreTheEnd, countwebb, Eric Twocents, jbob, Linda1961, Southcoast Luna, aresea, Yo Bubba, Alhambra, leeleedee, AguaEcon, Jollie Ollie Orange, paccoli, howabout, JosephK74, Constantly Amazed, helpImdrowning, LaraJones, Smoh, Corvinus, ET3117, Floyd Blue, pragmaticidealist, Jim Domenico, Jason Hackman, martianexpatriate, Kimbeaux, TheDuckManCometh, Munynn, Betterthansoap, blukat, hamjudo, Dodgerdog1, emileen, Capt Crunch, Fish Man, Kit RMP, gnosticator, Will Stark, Independent Progressive, RGalli, KDfrAZ

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site