Cornucopia’s Take: Cornucopia petitioned the National Organic Program for more rigorous certification, oversight, and testing of imports in July due to the lax enforcement we were then aware of at the U.S. border. Cornucopia has been digging into the import fraud issue for 10 years. USDA’s Office of Inspector General released their critical audit of USDA’s handling of organic imports this week.
Bogus ‘organic’ foods reach the U.S. because of lax enforcement at ports, inspectors say
The Washington Post
by Peter Whoriskey
Bogus “organic” products may be reaching the United States because of lax enforcement at U.S. ports, according to a new audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General, a finding that helps explain previous reports that millions of pounds of fraudulent “organic” corn and soybeans had reached American ports.
The USDA lacks procedures to check that a shipment meets organic standards, the report found.
The USDA “was unable to provide reasonable assurance that … required documents were reviewed at U.S. ports of entry to verify that imported agricultural products labeled as organic were from certified organic foreign farms,” according to the report released Monday. “The lack of controls at U.S. ports of entry increases the risk that nonorganic products may be imported as organic into the United States and could create an unfair economic environment for U.S. organic producers.” Read Full Article »