A local ABC station is questioning the organic labeling of food from Whole Foods after learning that a considerable amount of produce comes from China. This includes “California blend”vegetables which come from China.
California blend vegetables are simply a marketing term, according to a Whole Foods representative (here).
The concern is that China has a notoriously corrupt economic system with lax regulatory enforcement. Moreover, it is a country that has extensive pollution problems. Nevertheless, Whole Foods insists that it is certified under the same standards that apply in the United States and subject to monitoring.
NRDC senior scientist Linda Greer states on the problem, “So you have to ask yourself the question, how would they ever know if the organic rules are being followed?. . . I wouldn’t buy something organic from China with the idea that it’s truly organic.”
For full disclosure, my family shops at Whole Foods (because we are part of the exchange program of college funds for collard greens). We do try to use organic vegetables whenever possible. I am not sure that this would deter us — though I do support the move toward locally grown produce.
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