Looking at Fraud: Industry Watchdog Releases Comprehensive Report Documenting Suspicious Organic Grain ImportsMonday, June 18th, 2018
[Read Cornucopia’s letter to Sec. Perdue and the white paper, The Turkish Infiltration of the U.S. Organic Grain Market]
Failures in USDA Oversight Rendered U.S. Markets Vulnerable to Fraud by Eastern European Cartels
Some Implicated Major Players Quietly Exit Market
An organic industry watchdog, The Cornucopia Institute, has released a groundbreaking, comprehensive report chronicling how a small number of multibillion dollar agribusinesses came to dominate the U.S. organic grain industry following the systemic failures of the USDA’s National Organic Program (USDA-NOP) to curb the infiltration of questionable organic grain imports.
sold by Tiryaki and shipped on the M/V Mountpark,
were rejected at a California port in April 2018.
Image courtesy of VesselFinder/Cengiz Tokgöz
During the latter part of Cornucopia’s two-year investigation, it appears that the two largest players in importing feed grains into the U.S., Turkey-based Tiryaki Agro Gida Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.S (“Tiryaki”) and its wholly owned organic division, Diasub, FZE, have quietly “surrendered” their organic certification, reducing their exposure (it should be noted that many of their corporate affiliates remain in good standing with the USDA).
Cornucopia’s report finds that the U.S. became a dumping ground for imports of fraudulent organic corn, soybeans, and other commodities after the European Union cracked down on abuses originating in former Soviet Bloc countries including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Romania, and Russia. What makes this particularly problematic is that imports now make up the majority of feed grains fed to domestic certified organic livestock.
“With industry experts estimating that over 50% of organic corn and 80-90% of soybeans are being imported, there is speculation that if the USDA, at this point, wakes up to do their job, feed shortages in the organic marketplace could occur,” said Mark A. Kastel, codirector of The Cornucopia Institute. Read Full Article »