Organic food sales account for $40 billion in food sales. But is your organic food really organic?
To get a food product certified as organic, a farmer must start with land that hasn’t been used to grow conventional food for three years. The farmer is then not to use any synthetic pesticides or herbicides, and is not to use genetically modified seeds. Farmers must also pay $3000 a year to become certified as organic growers.
The farmer has to provide documentation that he has followed these rules and may also have an inspection of his farm. However, it is rare for inspectors to actually perform soil samples or test products for pesticide or herbicide residue.
When a study was performed on foods labelled as organic in grocery stores, 40 percent came back positive for pesticides.
What about foreign food? Foreign food products are also supposed to be certified as organic, however the testing performed occurs in the country of origin. There are over 100 countries that export food labelled as organic to the United States.
A product labelled “made with organic products” must use 70% organic products.