The truth about ‘organic’ food
Big money and a lack of oversight has rendered the label meaningless
CATHY GULLI | September 10, 2007 |
While working as an independent organic food inspector, Mischa Popoff says he felt like “a police officer without a billy club or handcuffs.” When he found four jugs of herbicide — each containing four litres of prohibited spray — inside one organic farmer’s garage, Popoff ordered crop sampling be done at a lab. But that never happened because, he was told by the certifying body that hired him, “it’s too expensive to run tests,” Popoff recalls. When he asked a pig producer who also grows certified organic produce to prove that he wasn’t putting liquid hog manure on those fields, which is often forbidden under organic guidelines, the farmer couldn’t, and the matter ended there.