Monday, June 21, 2010

Is Your Organic Spinach From China?

Many people are surprised to learn that some of our packaged organic food comes from foreign countries. Frozen vegetables and fruits are prime examples.

I wrote a post about this last year after I bought a bag of frozen organic spinach, not realizing it was a product of China. The spinach’s organic status was certified by the Organic Crop Improvement Association, an American firm that handles international organic certification. Actually, make that “handled.”

According to a recent article in The New York Times, OCIA has been banned by the USDA "from operating in China because of a conflict of interest that strikes at the heart of the organics’ guarantee . . .
Federal officials say [OCIA] used employees of a Chinese government agency to inspect state-controlled farms and food processing facilities.”

Whole Foods has caught a bit of flak in the past for using organics from China. However, according to the article, the supermarket chain—because of customer concern—is moving away from the practice.

Click here to read the recent Times article on OCIA and Chinese organics.

And to keep things fair and balanced, click here to read the OCIA International Statement on China.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was horrified to find that my store brand (Stop and Shop) bag or organic spinach was from China.