Viewpoint: Organic industry faces credibility crisis as USDA investigates ‘phony’ imports

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Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, the grocer that brought pricey organic food to the masses, comes during a time of turmoil in the organic industry: The Department of Agriculture is continuing to investigate the importation of millions of pounds of phony organic grains. The move is in response to a lengthy Washington Post exposé published in May that tracked shipments of corn and soybeans from Turkey, Romania, and Ukraine that were labeled “organic” but were not (I wrote about it here).

A USDA spokeswoman confirmed to me that an investigation is ongoing and said the agency has already revoked the license of one Turkish handler. … The USDA cannot suspend imports from these countries as the investigation proceeds, but it has notified importers about the fraudulent grains.

But this problem extends far beyond a few shady international grain dealers. Organic companies have used these non-organic grains in their products and either knowingly or unwittingly sold those goods as certified organic.

While the Post exposed only three shipments of fake grains, it’s safe to assume this has been going on for some time, with perhaps a wink and a nod from folks throughout the organic supply chain.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The Organic Industry Is in Turmoil