Cornucopia Institute files organic grain complaint
An organic industry watchdog group wants the USDA to crack down on foreign grain fraud. Mark Kastel is the farm policy analyst for the Cornucopia Institute, and tells Brownfield they filed a complaint with the USDA after a Washington Post investigation found what he calls massive shipments of fraudulent organic grain coming from China and Eastern Europe. “We have tried to cajole the USDA into doing in-depth investigations, and they’ve just absolutely failed to. They trust the foreign certification bodies. These folks are not as trustworthy as the U.S. certifiers.”
Kastel says some foreign shippers are sending non-GMO corn and soybeans to America with false organic paperwork, which is hurting the farmers who follow organic rules. “There’s some farmers who have bins filled on their farms and no market for that grain.”
Kastel says Cornucopia Institute has had difficulty getting the USDA to investigate complaints under the last two Presidents, and hopes to see changes under President Donald Trump.
This is not the first time Cornucopia Institute has filed USDA complaints following a Washington Post investigation. They also filed complaints against Aurora Organic Dairy for allegedly violating organic grazing guidelines. Aurora told Brownfield the claims are false.
Mark Kastel discusses both the dairy and grain allegations with Brownfield’s Larry Lee
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