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“ORGANIC” FOODS FROM TURKEY? BUYER BEWARE!

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Because more and more consumers are buying Organic food, the demand for Organic soy and corn has exceeded American production, causing a flood of imported organic products. What is the problem? Organic farmers and marketers are raising concerns that some imported organic corn and soybeans may be conventional grains that has been fraudulently mislabeled as organic. Most of the organic corn imported in the U.S. comes from Turkey (or Bulgaria and Romania via Turkey).

Turkey has come under suspicion because of its civil unrest, but also because its shipments of organic corn to the U.S. tripled between 2015 and 2016, the magnitude of the increases seems highly unusual. It’s also interesting to know that the European Union and Canada has banned some of the Organic shipments from Turkey last year and they have decided early this year to stop accepting shipments from one of Turkey’s largest organic certifying companies after an international oversight group suspended its accreditation. Are they intentionally mislabeling conventional grain as organic to make huge profits? There’s no proof of such fraud, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating the case.

Until the suspicions get cleared, it would be wise to read the labels carefully when purchasing organic corn and soybeans or ask your retailer about the origin of their grains.

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