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Almond Growers Sue USDA Over Compulsory Almond Treatment

USDAAre your raw almonds actually fumigated or steamed?

Over a year ago, the USDA implemented regulations requiring treatment for almonds, alleging that it was a necessary food safety requirement. Two outbreaks of salmonella traced to almonds were reported in the last ten years, one traced to a 9000 acre nut farm, and the Almond Board of California supported the USDA’s decision.

From the Cornucopia Institute:

A group of fifteen American almond growers and wholesale nut handlers filed a lawsuit in the Washington, D.C. federal court on Tuesday, September 9 seeking to repeal a controversial USDA-mandated treatment program for California-grown raw almonds.
β€œThe USDA’s raw almond treatment mandate has been economically devastating to many family-scale and organic almond farmers in California,” said Will Fantle, the research director for the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute.

The USDA requires that raw almonds be treated with propylene oxide (a toxic fumigant recognized as a carcinogen by the EPA) or steam-heated before sale to American consumers. Foreign-grown almonds are exempt and are rapidly displacing raw domestic nuts on the market. Almonds treated with propylene oxide or steam heat can still be labeled as “raw”. This is extremely misleading for consumers looking for raw food choices.

Stores are not required to alert consumers of the treatments, and vegans who eat a lot of nuts in their diet are outraged. The Cornucopia Institute is helping to support this lawsuit:

    Please support the right to truly raw almonds by making a donation for this lawsuit. The Cornucopia Institute is helping underwrite the cost of the almond legal challenge. By using this link to our secure server, you can make an online, tax-deductible gift. Make sure to indicate in the message box that your donation is for the Almond Lawsuit. (If you prefer, you may also mail your donation to The Cornucopia Institute, PO Box 126, Cornucopia, WI 54827). Your support helps protect the livelihood of small and medium-size family and organic almond growers and the right of consumers to choose authentic and truly fresh food in the marketplace.

Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has a great commentary on NaturalNews about the almond fumigation issue and its “plot to deceive consumers over “raw”.

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One comment
  1. mike

    It’s completely within reason to ask that “raw” almonds that have been boiled/treated should have a label saying as much, but so is one that makes it known of the salmonella risk to those whose almonds aren’t treated. those who wish can disregard the salmonella risk and those who are concerned about the risk can know which almonds are treated to prevent salmonella related illness. other than that the fact that imported almonds are not subject does indeed give them a price advantage and because there is an information asymmetry as to which are treated or not, economically the imported goods tend to win out negating any health benefit from treatment in regard to salmonella.

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