In response to the growth of the organic food industry, the government created Organic Land Management, a branch of the US Department of Agriculture, according to the New Yorker. This group, responsible for the certification of organic land, demands payment from farmers seeking to have their land declared organic. As a result, some have criticized the system, claiming that the compensation system encourages corruption and discourages whistleblowing by creating a conflict of interest.
Some decide to sell organic products, except they save money and create a product that is not considered organic. On occasion, the perpetrators are discovered by the government and charged with fraud – at least one man, who committed suicide before his sentence began, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison (according to AP News), for having allegedly organized a massive $ 142 million project. organic food fraud.
Others admitted to mixing organic and non-organic produce, saying shoppers couldn’t tell the difference, according to The New Yorker. Due to the lack of thorough testing, many farmers and food producers mislabeling their products are never punished because no one knows that they are actively committing fraud.
The next time you’re wondering about the supposed health benefits of your organic grocery store, stop to consider how food inspectors rarely verify a product’s declaration as organic. While many of these products probably don’t cause harm, you could end up paying too much for foods that look like any other product on the shelf.