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Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Federal Charges For Fake Organic Corn

It’s interesting and reassuring to see that apparently somebody follows up on fake organic claims, according to a story in my local paper, the Eugene Register Guard.

Register Guard regular Karen McCowan reported the man is charged with adding $193,169 to his profits by misrepresenting a conventional crop. He faces a federal wire fraud charge for allegedly selling more than 4.2 million pounds of conventional corn falsely labeled as organic.

The alleged fraud came to light after the grain milling company that bought the organic corn found ‘inconsistencies’ while auditing the corn to verify that it complied with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program regulations. “We have to have a good paper trail for organics,” a spokesperson explained.

I’m glad to see this story. I don’t know or care about innocence or guilt in this case; I’m glad to see that somebody checks these things. It seems so easy to just label foodstuffs “organic” and increase the price. Here’s a case where it supposedly happened, and, whether it did or not, authorities are following up with prosecution.

I think a lot of us worry about fake organic, or greenwashing, so we want to know that the label means something.

(image: bigstockphoto.com

  • Thanks for posting this Tim. No doubt this is a huge problem where the consumer is being fleeced into buying so called “organic” products at inflated prices.
    I wonder how and if Whole Foods has internal controls to check for the products they sell as organic?