Lack of controls at US ports and fumigation of imports feed doubts about ‘organic’ label, USDA finds

Corn ship

Bogus “organic” products may be reaching the United States because of lax enforcement at U.S. ports, according to a new audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General, a finding that helps explain previous reports that millions of pounds of fraudulent “organic” corn and soybeans had reached American ports.

The USDA lacks procedures to check that a shipment meets organic standards, the report found.

The USDA “was unable to provide reasonable assurance that … required documents were reviewed at U.S. ports of entry to verify that imported agricultural products labeled as organic were from certified organic foreign farms,” according to the report….

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The report from the inspector general comes as the USDA faces growing doubts about whether food granted the “USDA Organic” label actually meets organic standards. This year, news stories have raised questions about the production methods used in organic milk, organic eggs, as well as imported organic products of all kinds.

The inspector general’s report adds that the confusion at the ports is so deep that some “organic” shipments — legitimate or not — are fumigated after arrival with pesticides prohibited under USDA organic rules.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Bogus ‘organic’ foods reach the U.S. because of lax enforcement at ports, inspectors say

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