Viewpoint: 7-year food fraud scheme exposes flawed oversight of organic farming

National Organic Program

Three farmers in Nebraska just plead guilty to a food fraud scheme in which they were selling conventionally grown corn and soybeans as organic. They pulled off this scheme from 2010 to 2017 and made nearly $11 million in the process. How could they get away with it for so long?

For starters, nobody can tell the difference between conventional and organic food. It’s not as if organic corn and soybeans look, smell, or taste differently compared to their conventional counterparts. So, the only way to catch food fraud is by doing a chemical analysis. In this case, the analysis would look for the presence of pesticides that are banned according to organic agriculture’s (completely arbitrary) rules.

Related article:  Plagued by pest, African farmers may soon have access to insect-resistant GMO cowpeas—for free

These rules are supposedly enforced by the National Organic Program (NOP), which is part of the USDA. Obviously, it isn’t doing a particularly good job. According to the Washington Post:

“[T]he [organic food] system suffers from multiple weaknesses in enforcement: Farmers hire their own inspection companies; most inspections are announced days or weeks in advance and lack the element of surprise; and testing for pesticides is the exception rather than the rule.”

In other words, the USDA’s policy is just to trust farmers and suppliers if they say their food is organic ….

Read full, original article: Fraud: Farmers Caught Selling Conventional Crops As Organic

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend