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Web Video: ABC I-Team Investigates Problematic Organics

Watch I-team investigate carcinogens in fake "Organic" personal care products: Video 1

Watch I-Team investigate Whole Foods Market. A large portion of the "ceritified organic" products are imported from China:  Video 2

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords:

post Jun 26 2008, 12:06 PM

As a former worker of Whole Foods I wish I still had the release they sent to Whole Foods employees touting how great it was that they were getting their "organic" products from China. It was the only time I'd ever seen anything like this in a release to their employees before or since (in the 7+ years I worked there). I'm guessing they had hoped that employees and customers could be duped by their claims that this stuff was organic. Thankfully this isn't apparently the case. It was interesting to me that this came out right after I expressed concern to the national standards group about products from China containing banned pesticides. But perhaps it was just a coincidence...

post Jun 26 2008, 12:43 PM

For years I've been in the habit of trusting the content of products purchased from Whole Foods. But then they refused to investigate their meat suppliers problems and now this. Guess I'll need to rethink where my organics come from......

post Jun 26 2008, 05:26 PM

I used to think Whole Foods was a great store...oh, how I have learned the painful truth. I am saddened by the news that not even Whole Foods has the integrity to be honest in their business. I don't mind paying for quality-but no standards! I'll not spend another penny in a Whole Foods store.

post Jun 26 2008, 10:13 PM

I'm sorry, I read the entire list of products - organic and looks to me like you're talking about frozen organic foods under the 365/whole foods label. Your article sounded like everything in the store marked 365 was from China.
How about a wee bit balanced reporting?

Oh, I am not a Whole Foods employee, member or stockholder. I actually belong to a local food coop and I would never trust any label 'Organic'.

post Jun 27 2008, 08:29 AM

I am sure that all of the 365 brand foods are private labeled by other "organic" companies that would be recognized as "responsible", have you read the country of origin on those company labels?. I was totally dismayed several years ago when I purchased Cascadian Farms' "organic" California blend of broccoli, carrots, and squash (or something) only to discover at that time that it was a product of China. As a vegetable grower I couldn't imagine that they could buy the ingredients, process them and ship them all the way from China cheaper that purchasing them in the US. Obviously this is the case.

I am a Whole Foods shopper primarily because we live in a small rural Kansas town and have reduced access to some of the products that I count on being able to buy from Whole Foods. I mainly shop the perimeter of the store because I find many of the other items in the store to be ridiculous in price. With the advent of $4 a gallon gas, however, my trips into Whole Foods (which cost roughly $10 round trip) have become rare and I augment my garden at our local farmers' market - not organic but I know some of the growers and trust their judgement - and am lobbying our locally-owned grocery store to carry more organic every time I'm in the store. They have set up a small "organic & natural" corner and our whole family supports it every chance we get.

Whole Foods serves a wonderful educational purpose and has introduced many consumers to local and organic thus forcing local chains to follow suit. A wise shopper reads all labels and needs to know what those labels mean. We should be giving away as little responsibility for our food as possible by purchasing whole foods and preparing them ourselves. This is the only way to know what is being eaten, isn't that what is most important?

post Jun 29 2008, 12:40 AM

They're missing the point.

The big question is why from China? I thought Whole Foods was promoting LOCAL.... Coke, Pepsi and Nestle are bottling water from the pristine Florida springs and, get this, "shipping it to France!" The French in turn bottle their Perrier and Evian and send it here.

Like two trucks carrying redwood trees but traveling in the opposite direction on the highway...
Somethings pretty screwy

post Yesterday, 03:50 PM

I just sent the following e-mail message to Whole Foods:

Organic frozen vegetables from China? As reported by the ABC I-Team. I don't want them. You may choose to believe these products meet U.S. organic standards, but I don't, with good reason.

Now my question is: can I return the Whole Food brand frozen vegetables from China, now in my freezer, for full credit?

I am adding this comment to the Organic consumers Association article about this. And I will add your answer.

Joe Dickson
post Today, 02:54 PM

Hi Everyone,

The organic products from China are definitely organic; we've done a lot of work to make sure. Please see our website for more info:

And check out a recent blog post about the issue:


Joe Dickson
Whole Foods Market