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Jun 18, 2010

USDA Revokes Organic Crop Improvement Assn Certification Due to Irregularities in China

"USDA has banned Organic Crop Improvement Association from certifying organic products imported from China after a USDA Ag Marketing Service audit found some of the OCIA workers in China had connections with the Chinese government."

OCIA employed inspectors from a Chinese government agency to certify government controlled farms and food processing facilities.  OCIA is an American non-profit organization founded in the 1980s. It has more than 1,800 certifiers in 11 countries. Its Chinese operations accounted for 223 operations.

Trade data does not separate out organic imports from China. Overall the U.S. spends $3 billion a year in Chinese farm imports.

Whole Foods Market has purchased Chinese organics inspected by OCIA in its stores.  Having made its own review of Chinese suppliers and products it remains confident in the quality and value of the good purchased. 

For more see:
Kilman, Scott.  "U.S. Bans Inspector of Organic Farmers in China After Audit," Wall Street Journal, 15 June 2010.
Meyer, Bob. "USDA/OCIA agree to pull organic certification authority in China," Brownfield Ag News for America, 18 June 2010.
Neuman, William and David Barboza, "U.S. Drops Inspector of Food in China," New York Times, 13 June 2010.

"OCIA International Statement on China," OCIA News Release, 18 June 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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