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The USDA Cracks Down on Organic Food from China

The USDA Cracks Down on Organic Food from China

Dangerous products from China seem to be the norm these days. U.S. consumers have had to deal with the toxic drywall disaster.  Then, we found out that Chinese-manufactured toys and trinkets contained cadmium instead of lead.  Cadmium is a known carcinogenic. Oh, and how about the milk that killed several babies and sickened thousands because […]

Organic Regulation USDA Whole Foods
LivingMaxwell.com

Dangerous products from China seem to be the norm these days.

U.S. consumers have had to deal with the toxic drywall disaster.  Then, we found out that Chinese-manufactured toys and trinkets contained cadmium instead of lead.  Cadmium is a known carcinogenic.

Oh, and how about the milk that killed several babies and sickened thousands because of the toxic powder that was used.

With doubts swirling that the organic food from China wasn’t really organic, the USDA has banned a major certifier, the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA), from operating there.

The reason: OCIA hired employees of a state-owned agency to inspect state-controlled farms and processing facilities. There was absolutely no independence and a serious conflict of interest at hand.

A video had been circulating on Internet recently about how Whole Foods was using “organic” food from China yet the certifying agency, Quality Assurance International, who was hired by Whole Foods and whose certification seal was on the package, claims it never did any inspections in that country. This created a mini-scandal that Whole Foods refused to comment on.

The consumer complaints obviously were being taken seriously by Whole Foods because they have eliminated practically all products imported from China. Chinese shelled and unshelled frozen edamame soybeans will still be available.

My take: 1) We need to continue to buy local, organic food and support farmers in our communities.  2) I am happy that the USDA has finally cracked down on organic food corruption but more needs to be done.  A lot more needs to be done.

Based on this crackdown on organic food from China, will you be more reluctant to buy organic food from other foreign countries?


7 Comments

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Donna,

    Some of the things that Whole Foods does is questionable, no doubt about it. They have grown to be a massive company and quality control can definitely slip.

    That is further proof why we have to be so aware and educated about everything that goes into our body.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Live well,
    Max

  • Donna says:

    I’m disappointed to hear about Whole Foods selling these products from China. I noticed the same thing with “supposed” organic frozen spinach at Stop N Shop in our local area and questioned the Management. Of course, they had no comment.

    I also noticed that Whole Foods in Middletown, NJ is selling Salmon in their fresh fish section with a note stating “color added”. I am very concerned as to why they would sell anything with “color added”. That tells me they are straying away from their “Whole Food” image, moving more toward the scary “commercial” harmful foods with additives.

    Very disappointing!

  • Richard says:

    Max,

    I think there’s no question that going local is best for quality assurance and dependable certification; however, I think the economic benefits are significant as well. That is, why wouldn’t we give the business to the smaller local guy if (s)he provides a better product at a competitive cost? I feel strongly that buying organic foods from sketchy, overseas sources will only become a negatively perpetual cycle in which local providers have an increasingly difficult time competing; these products will eventually be the only ones on shelves (similar to…every…other industry).

    Not only are these questionable foreign products less dependable in regards to quality, but their use contradicts the–excuse the pun–organic nature of this life/health style. Go local!

    Great post.

  • Hi Jan,

    I, too, will definitely be more cognizant when buying my organic food. It will also make me question the standards of that country as well.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  • Thanks so much Julie! I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • I’m with you Max. I prefer buying local. I will be more cognizant of checking if my organic food comes from a foreign country. We don’t have any Whole Foods in upstate New York, so I get quite a few of my organic products from http://www.theorganicwholesaleclub.com. Thanks for sharing the info.
    Jan

  • Julie K says:

    Great blog post!

    I am always more reluctant to purchase organic foods from other countries. I do still buy it, but when given a choice, I always opt for produce grown in the US. Ultimately I prefer local, organic produce. It supports the local community while promoting a sustainable soil system for future generations.

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