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Published on February 14th, 2011 | by Rachel Shulman

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USDA Stops Import of Fake Organic Food from China

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An attempted fraud by a Chinese organic agricultural marketer was made public last Friday.

The USDA released a fraudulent organic certificate produced by an uncertified food supplier in China. The counterfeit certificate represented non-organic crops, including soybeans, millet, and buckwheat, as certified organic.

Ecocert, the accredited certifying agent whose name was illegally used on the fake certificate, was the first to bring the issue to the attention of the USDA’s National Organic Program.

So far, the USDA has not found evidence that any of the Chinese product was sold as organic. But the full extent of the issue is unknown at this time.

The USDA has a pretty shoddy record when it comes to managing imported products from China, so honestly I’m surprised that they caught this one. Let’s hope that they keep up the enforcement. The whole scandal is a good reminder that imported organic products can’t always be trusted.

Image courtesy of edlabdesigner via a Creative Commons license.


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About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (http://twitter.com/rachelshulman), friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/RachelShulman/).



One Response to USDA Stops Import of Fake Organic Food from China

  1. Cindy Puzio says:

    I was going to tweet & share your article because I think this is important information that needs to be shared about fake organics. But your last comment about the USDA was not helpful. The USDA workers are on the front line doing the best they can with the lack of funds at their disposal & with the amount of big farm/ big corporation influence in the system. People need to understand how the system works & they need to tell their representatives that they want things to change at the USDA.

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