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Some Foreign Organic Labeling Could Be Meaningless, New Book Argues

October 7, 2010: 10:27 AM EST

A new book by former organic food inspector Mischa Popoff contends that foreign food brokers and traders – who have a major impact on what organically-labeled food reaches U.S. grocery stores – have “watered the standards down” for organic labeling. Food labeled organic may only qualify on paper rather than through direct inspection of farming processes or through organic quality testing and control, Popoff says. In fact, huge amounts of food from countries such as China, Mexico, and Brazil arrive in the U.S. labeled organic without meeting compliance standards. These shoddy practices penalize North American farmers who are monitored, tested, and held to strict compliance rules. “You’ve got pages and pages of regulations [in those countries] but there’s no testing so it doesn’t matter what other regulations are,” Popoff says.

Mischa Popoff, Audio, OSOYOOS, BRITISH COLUMBIA, "Organic food may not be what you think", Central Valley Business Times, October 07, 2010, © Central Valley Business Times
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