Fraudulent ‘organic’ food imports overwhelming USDA, investigation finds

Screen Shot at PM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture fails at regulation of organic food as fraudulent products overwhelm the agency’s conflicted, compromised system, a NerdWallet investigation has found.

The USDA’s National Organic Program has not kept up with the explosive growth of organic food production and sales — either in staffing or enforcement, NerdWallet found.

The system today enables high-dollar fraud, as swindlers exploit high premiums charged by honest players for the risks, expense and hard work of producing genuine organics.

The USDA’s failings undermine authentic producers and tarnish the agency’s organic seal, jeopardizing its promise as an emblem of trust.

The USDA creates conflicts of interest by allowing cozy relationships between growers/processors and the companies that certify their operations as organic. The USDA accredits 80 certifiers worldwide. However, those certifiers are paid not by the agency, but by the growers and processors they certify. And the growers and processors get to choose their certifiers from the list.

It does not require certifiers to be neutral arbiters. Instead, certifiers are allowed to advocate on behalf of the companies they certify, harass critics and lobby for changes in rules governing the organics industry.

The agency often asks and trusts certifiers to look into alleged violations by their customers, instead of investigating independently.

QUICK

Read full, original post: The USDA’s Organic Certification Program: A Litany of Failures

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend