By Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

Okay, so now we are all being told to hate Whole Foods because it sold USDA Certified Organic frozen veggies from China that might not have been quite so “organic.” According to the Whole Foods Website:

All organic products are audited and certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

In other words, Whole Foods was simply playing by USDA NOP rules. So, who do we blame? The USDA’s National Organics Program (NOP) for allowing the certification? No. The USDA NOP seems to be getting away scot-free. Just how is that possible? Let’s take a look at the following clip from Bloomberg:

A Florida judge allowed a lawsuit to proceed that claims Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) violated the state’s deceptive trade-practices law by selling frozen vegetables from China grown in a polluted region by prisoners and certified as organic.

Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Amy Steele Donner yesterday denied the grocery chain’s motion to dismiss the suit filed on behalf of the Southeast Consumer Alliance Inc., a non-profit organization based in Boca Raton, Florida.

The suit claims that Whole Foods knew that its Silver River supplier, based in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, was actually a front company for a network of farms where Chinese prisoners are forced to work and that the farms are irrigated from a highly polluted river.

The suit also claims that Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods knew that the company providing the initial organic certification is owned by the Chinese government, which also owns the farms, creating a conflict of interest.

The food was CERTIFIED ORGANIC by the USDA. Just exactly what does that say for the USDA’s organics program??? If the USDA certified this food, “either they knew about these forced labor camps, or they didn’t actually check.” How many other instances of this is the USDA supporting? And just how much GMO and toxic sludge is in all the rest of the USDA Certified Organics products that other companies are selling?

Maybe we should sue each and every company that sells USDA Certified Organic food and force it to investigate the company that it received it from to determine just how much garbage is in the food since the USDA Certified Organic seal obviously means squat. This includes all grocery stores, health food stores, etc. Or maybe we should sue the USDA NOP for shoddy oversight of the organics industry that allows this to happen. Or should this agency not be held accountable for its seal?

Want to place the blame squarely where it belongs? Then let’s go straight to the source: the USDA, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Monsanto.

© Barbara H. Peterson


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12 Responses to “Chinese Toxic Food and Whole Foods Lawsuit – Who’s to Blame?”

  1. I wonder why the US needs to import foodstuff from China, when it can grow everything? In fact why does it need to import anything from China. One is blinded by the relatively low prices, but when one looks at the economics of it, only every second item from China works and they do not last. In the meantime the Chinese are denuding the world,in a locust fashion, largely Africa and Australia from all their minerals. The mining companies are rubbing their hands, but what will happen in 20 years. Australia will be a pauper and Africa will either depend on foreign aid or go back to the bush. Unfortunately, even the bush will have gone as the population quadrupled in the last 30 years. WAKE UP!!!

  2. European American says:

    Oh, and China is one of the most out of touch cultures/societies when it comes to working in harmony with the Environment, i.e. how can you grow organic if you don’t have a clue of what that entails? But then again, what country is in tune?

    Whole Foods has become a reflection of the collective quality of the masses who shop there, sort of like what’s happened to all political parties; corrupt, selfish, greedy, dis-eased. That’s all going to come to an abrupt end when GMO crops, along with Fuel Fleas from Fukushima and Fort Calhoun/Cooper slam dunk the majority of the Collective, addicted to; obesity, psychotropic drugs, sustainable development/collectivism and texting, into the life hereafter.

    Maybe finally then, for those who make it through the Phase Transition, a little peace a quiet?

  3. European American says:

    And then there’s the so called “Organic” food from Mexico. What do they use for fertilizer?

  4. CJ says:

    Texas, the home of Whole Foods (the high priced yuppie version of Wheatsville Co-op almost on the opposite side of town) had the best organic certification program in the country thanks to Jim Hightower (Democrat), and others, until the US imposed it’s “national” (read: California) so called “standards” on everybody during the Clinton (California-favoring) period. The national certification was modeled after several lax systems, the worst of them being California’s. So we got stuck with yet another compromised thing designed by Democrats to be twisted by Republicans until it was even more useless than it started out. Kind of like deregulation, started by Carter and twisted by Reagan, with emphasis on financial deregulation. It was said at the time that it would be bad for real organic food, and look what has indeed happened. So expect some “brilliant” idea of Obama to get twisted. Oh, wait . . .

  5. craig says:

    time to stop going to whole foods till they stop selling garbage. what a colossal fraud!

  6. jim s says:

    Mike S is incorrect. China will not be swayed because they “Need our markets”. They don’t need our markets any more and have been readjusting to an inward looking strategy for some time.

    More importantly- The problem is there is no such thing as a moral code or ethics in China. They have no moral foundation that is part of their religious teachings like in the west. It is not part of the culture. They only concern themselves with maintaining face. SO corruption is rampant, as is cheating to gain advantage in business and social status. Thus it only matters if you get caught. Once you understand this important distinction then you can do business in China. It requires setting the standard of quality and then enforcing it with rigorous QC testing to get the result you desire. Obviously the lame underwhelming performance of the USDA organic certification program is no where near rigid enough to keep them from cheating.

    These thoughts come from my personal experience making products in China for many years.

  7. Doug Girard says:

    Once the government got involved in the organics “seal of approval” it was a given that such designation would soon be meaningless. Oregon Tilth and some of the other certification labels overseen by smaller groups with a real interest in real organic was the way to go. And, “Time to Cash Out” is right, with radiation in the air (especially here on the west coast), chemtrails in the sky, and GMO’s wafting all over with the wind, the best one can hope for is “sorta-kinda” organic, EVEN if one grows their own. Bastards.

  8. Mike S says:

    China desperately needs our markets, if we hold them to higher standards they will comply if sales depend on it. It’s up to us what we buy from China, um, that should be obvious. This is a management issue, plain and simple, and our government is at fault. There is absolutely no need to blame China, they will produce what we want… The problem is a little closer to home, our elected “representatives” – most of whom work for whoever pays them the most money – in Congress are far more aware of what’s going on than most consumers, but they get paid to look the other way. Corporations are people, psychopaths, who bribe Congress to ignore what is best for America. Clean up Washington.

  9. christopher j says:

    If China needs to import 55 million tons of soybeans a year, and if they are producing only 15 million tons a year, then….

    …why are they exporting soybeans???

    Oh, they’re exporting poisonous soybeans. Nevermind.

    Someone/s in DC ought to swing for their crimes.

    Melamine-tainted milk, lead-tainted childrens’ toys, mercury-tained drywall.

    Tell me this is not deliberate

  10. Martin says:

    Just like USDA choice and prime in meats (which everyone I know thinks is irrelevant) so too the organic label is a marketing tool designed for those unscrupulous producers who care more about profits and market share than about honesty and the health of their customers. An alternative system that displayed the nutrient profile of the fruits and vegetables and tested for toxic residues would be more honest and give an incentive to farmers to produce the highest nutrient dense produce. The management at Whole Foods is sincerely interested in quality but the Federal Government has made it possible by their policies on GM food and the sanctioned use of toxic substances masquerading as fertilizers and pesticides so that it is impossible to know you are eating and drinking something that is toxic to your body.

  11. Eric Hall says:

    Whole Foods is suspect to me. Customers of Trader Joe’s demanded that they quit selling produce from communist China and Trader Joe’s complied with their customers wishes, and this was years ago. Whole Foods has given evidence of being willing to go along to get along with GMO producers and an Executive engaged in unethical practices in acquiring a smaller health food chain. And the USDA has shown that it is suspect, e.g., its approval of the toxic sweetener Neotame, which is more harmful than aspartame and has allowed it in organic products without it being listed in the ingredients. Thanks for the courageous reporting of Farm Wars re: the fascist collusion of the Feds and big corporations.

  12. Time To Cash Out says:

    Don’t worry, radiation exposure from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear screw up, will make ALL food hazardous to consume!