Counterfit Organics

Ok, so the Olympic ceremonies were beautifully orchestrated and yeah, the stadiums and games were pretty great too, but when it comes to imports China (and others) have badly let us down.

The USDA has announced that they are putting 15 out of 30 federally accredited organic certifiers they audited on probation, allowing them 12 months to make corrections or lose their accreditation. At the heart of the problems were imported foods and ingredients from other countries, including China.

Chinese imports have made headlines for contaminated pet food, toxic toys, and recently, certified organic ginger contaminated with levels of a pesticide called aldicarb that can cause nausea, headaches and blurred vision. The ginger, sold under the 365 label at Whole Foods Market, contained a level of aldicarb not even permissible for conventional ginger, let alone organics.

The Chinese government does not allow foreigners to inspect Chinese farms, and even if a Chinese inspector notices illegal pesticide use, he or she might feel pressured to stay silent.

Sources:
AlterNet August 7, 2008

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