ABC15, out of Arizona, is airing a segment Thursday at 10 p.m. MST. The segment will question whether imported organic produce bearing the USDA Organic seal is “chemical-free.” The ABC15 investigators claim to have found chemical residues on imported organic produce tested at a certified lab. The segment teases “what’s really behind the sticker?” and incorrectly asserts both inadequate oversight and testing.
In response, it is important to be aware of the following guidelines and facts:
- Organic fruits and vegetables are 10 times less likely to have pesticide residues than fruits and vegetables not certified organic
- Organic is the only agricultural system that uses third-party certification, inspection, and spot testing to verify that no toxic and persistent pesticides have been used to grow fruits and vegetables
- Certifying agents must maintain records of all residues testing, and provide these results to the public upon request
- Regardless of country of origin, all USDA certified organic fruits and vegetables must meet the same stringent standards
- Always eat lots of fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients essential to human health and growth. It is wise to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables each day
- If you have concerns or questions about an organic product, look for the certifying agency’s name which is always disclosed on the package
- If you ever suspect a product labeled as organic may not be organic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture accepts complaints and follows up on every single one. The National Organic Program provides instructions online for filing a complaint. Click here for more details.
In good health,
Melody Meyer, VP Policy & Industry Relations