Should Whole Foods, like Google, Get out of China?

A post from the Energy Collective questions Whole Foods’ sourcing of organic produce from China:

The allegation that foods imported from China don’t meet organic standards deserves to be taken more seriously. It’s not new: In 2008, Roberta Baskin, a reporter with an ABC-TV station in Washington ran a story questioning China’s organic standards (available here) in which she pointed out, among other things, that 365 Brand frozen “California style” vegetables are imported from China. It includes this exchange between Baskin and Linda Greer, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Linda Greer: ”I wouldn’t buy something organic from China with the idea that it’s truly organic.”
Baskin: “Why not?”
Greer: “The reason is we’ve had such a difficult time tracking things.”

The issue isn’t hypothetical. The TV station tested powdered ginger that was sold as organic at Whole Foods and found it contained a pesticide called Aldicarb. The company pulled the ginger off its shelves, as did others who imported the ginger.

Since then, a nonprofit that works with Whole Foods called the Organic Crop Improvement Association International has acknowledged problems with organic certification in China.

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