Eden Foods tries to opt out of Obamacare birth-control coverage | On The Side | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Eden Foods tries to opt out of Obamacare birth-control coverage

"I think we're going to have a list of companies that actively oppose implementation" of health-care reform



You are what you eat. But that doesn't mean you can swallow the beliefs of the people making your food.

Last week, Salon.com reported that Eden Foods — which makes Edensoy soy milk and other "pure and purifying foods" — had filed a lawsuit over an "Obamacare" provision requiring employers to offer workers insurance that includes birth control. 

"I'm not trying to get birth control out of Rite Aid or Walmart, but don't tell me I gotta pay for it," Eden CEO Michael Potter (no relation to this writer) told the site.

The disclosure surprised some Pittsburgh-area political activists, partly because Eden's environmentally conscious brand appeals to left-of-center consumers.

"I think we're going to have to put up a list of companies on our website that actively oppose implementation" of health-care reform, says Erin Gill-Ninehouser of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, which touts Obamacare. "People want information [about corporate health policies] — especially in the case of companies who market healthy lifestyles."

 The blowback has already started on Eden's Facebook page, where there are threats "to never buy your brown rice sushi rolls again."

Nationwide, there are at least 56 court battles over the birth-control requirement, says Andrew Beck, a staff attorney at the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project. But many of those lawsuits involve religiously affiliated nonprofits — like Geneva College in Beaver Falls — or companies like Domino's Pizza, whose founder is a noted abortion foe. Eden, by contrast, is taking on not just the government, but its own customers. 

"That," says Beck, "is the irony of this case." 

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