We are all interested in knowing where our food comes from and how it was grown. Much of what we buy at the market is grown in the U.S.A., and some is imported. Many of us buy organic produce and meat. But, if it comes from a different country than our own, do we know if it is really organic?
Recently, the Capital Press reported that fraudulent organic certifications have been discovered in produce coming into the U.S. from other countries, specifically China and Malaysia. Certification documents have been found to be forged – an easy thing to do, especially when documents are forwarded by way of email. Buyers of foreign produce might turn their heads if the price is tempting, and it frequently is.
The U.S.D.A. says it is difficult to catch fraud. Frequently, they are able to track down forged documents only when there is a complaint – rather than regular, standardized tracking systems. If they do catch the company with forged documents, then the company may continue its illicit business under a new name.
U.S. Certified Organic Growers work hard to establish and maintain their organic certification. Our U.S.D.A.’s standards are extremely high in every phase of insuring food safety, organic or otherwise. Because of this, the costs to produce food here in the U.S.A. is higher than in other countries. Fraudulently labeled organic food coming into our country hurts our own producers.
The best way to insure you are buying healthy food is to buy ONLY American grown produce and meats. You are supporting our own country, our own farmers, and can be comforted in knowing that, if you choose “Certified Organic,” your purchase is indeed, that.
Capital Press, January 10, 2014