Former inspector lifts lid on the murky world of organic food
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Former inspector lifts lid on the murky world of organic food

If organic food was that bad for us, none of our ancestors would have survived long enough to invent RoundUp – so an earlier post titled Organic Food Isn’t Needed was not meant to be taken entirely seriously.

However 40 Germans are now dead, and thousands have been made ill by sprouts thought to have come from an organic farm in southern Germany.

As a result of that post, a former organic food inspector from Canada, Mischa Popoff contacted this blog with the following article. Mischa is the author of Is it Organic? and has been warning about inadequate testing of organic produce in North America for years. Looking at the system in Australia, it too appears to depend on paper trails rather than actual testing.

Of course, organic food is safe when properly managed, but Mischa’s work raises serious questions about this very issue. Find out more here, and thanks to Mischa for providing the following article:

Is it certified organic death?

If ever there was an argument for the organic industry to buckle down and finally start field testing, this is it.

Forty deaths and over 3,200 illnesses caused by certified organic bean sprouts, tainted with a rare strain of E. coli, originating from an organic farm in Germany.

But hey… at least all the paperwork for organic certification was filled out correctly. Right? Feel better now? Like hell you do!

German officials say they won’t reprimand the owners of this organic farm because, “You cannot punish someone for having bad luck.” ‘Scuze me? Bad luck? The multi-billion-dollar certified organic, global industrial-complex has been riding on a non-scientific wave of pure hype for over a decade now. As someone who grew up on an organic farm and inspected over 500 organic farms and processing facilities, let me make this crystal clear: there is NO ROUTINE FIELD TESTING in the organic industry! None.

Do you think maybe… just maybe, the lack of laboratory analysis might’ve had something to do with the failure of German officials to notice that one of their organic farms was about to kill 35 people? Sure it did.

Since 1998 I have been asking why we don’t test organic farms and processing facilities to ensure they’re actually organic. Instead, paperwork is relied upon; mountains and mountains of useless paperwork.

Didn’t we learn anything from Bernie Madoff? He kept up on all of his paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In fact, he gave SEC-sponsored talks promoting the very regulators he was gaming. (Don‘t feel ripped off though; they were free talks!)

Madoff did everything the regulatory bureaucracy required of him… on paper, and then bilked investors for billions of dollars as others in the financial community tried in vain to blow the whistle on him. That’s where paperwork gets you.

I finally gave up asking why we didn’t field test organic farms and processing facilities to ensure prohibited substances like uncomposted manure weren’t making their way into the organic food chain. Rather than play along, I put down my pen and began openly lobbying for testing of all organic farms and processors at least once a year on a surprise basis.

I wrote articles and gave countless interviews, and last year I released a book on the subject describing how political activists who’ve never worked a day on a farm took over the organic industry and purposely eliminated field testing so they could import phony organic products from nations like China, Brazil and Mexico. It’s called Red-Green wealth redistribution; my detractors call it “sustainability.”

If you buy certified organic food, all that stands between you and E. coli-induced haemolytic uraemic syndrome is record-keeping… exhaustive, mind-numbing record keeping. If HUS doesn’t kill you it requires a kidney transplant, so it’s not surprising that many journalists say a moratorium on the organic industry is in order.

David Mastio of the Washington Times, for instance, points out that twice as many people have now died from eating organic food than died in the Gulf of Mexico oil-rig explosion and the nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. Pajamas Media warns more succinctly, “Eat Organic and Die.” But the powers-that-be in the organic industry are already pushing back, attacking their detractors personally instead of responding to our genuine concerns; a tactic I have grown accustomed to over the years.

All that’s required to avoid a repeat of this tragedy is what every honest organic farmer I’ve ever met wants: routine, unannounced, organic field testing. No more useless paperwork!

But, would you believe that at the last Annual Meeting of the Organic Trade Association the possibility of testing organics was only under consideration for GMO content, not for toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizer or fecal coliforms? Want some poop in your certified-organic salad?

If you can stomach it, pick up a copy of my book and read about pig farmers right here in North America who got their farms certified as organic just so they could dispose of tons of hog feces. And good luck finding an organ donor.

Make no mistake; these deaths in the European heartland of the global organic movement are a wake-up call. Where, pray tell, is the science in this industry I was once proud to say I grew up in? Where’s the common sense?

Mischa Popoff is an IOIA Advanced Organic Inspector and is the author of Is it Organic? which you can preview at

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