Organic Consumers Association

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Wholefoods Market Organic China connection

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Whole Foods, the self proclaimed 'worlds largest retailer of natural and organic foods' is outsourcing production for many of its products from China, of all places.

The problems with this are that in China there is little to no oversight to ensure that 'organic' products meet USDA standards for food that qualifies as organic. In addition to this, no US agencies are allowed to monitor the legitimacy of these claims within the People's Republic of China, thus we have to take them at their word.

In a country where up to ten percent of the groundwater is contaminated by arsenic, zinc, cadmium and lead, one has to wonder about the quality of vegetables grown in China.

According to a report by ABC 7 Iteam, Whole Foods is selling products labeled as 'organic' which have been grown in China. The report goes on to state that neither Whole Foods nor the US government has agencies operating within China to verify that the products actually meet the 'organic' standards.

Whole Foods, according to the report, is misleading the masses into believing that their products do meet the USDA bar for organic products, although this may not be true.

While producers in the US must meet the USDA's requirements vs how a product is grown, processed and handled, foreign producers need not worry. The problem is that although foreigners 'should' be following the same protocol as their colleagues in the west do, there is no way to ensure that this is occurring. 

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