‘Organic’ Food from China Found to Be Highly Contaminated

‘Organic’ Food from China Found to Be Highly Contaminated

The food we consume can be our remedy and as well as our illness, and because of that people have become aware of the importance of consuming healthy organic ingredients. In terms of organic foods, we are sure that this produce has not been over treated with pesticides or fed with antibiotics thus keeping our health and well-being.

Organic food have become trend in the modern way of living as customers know that they are grown with compost or manure, and by natural control of weeds and pests. On the other hand, the animal meat is also safe for use since the animals are not treated with antibiotics and are fed with organic, hormone, and GMO- free foods.

However, due to this special regime of crops and animals, which in the past was a normal thing, the price of organic foods is significantly higher. But, when our health is concerned, everyone knows that it is worth it.

Organic foods are high in the needed nutrients for the body such as polyphenols that are offering the antioxidant effect thus preventing the caused damage of the harmful free radicals. Plus, they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are highly beneficial for our heart. According to a 2016 conducted study these foods have in their content 50% more of these heart-healthy fatty acids than conventional products.

Rolf Halden, Professor, and Director of the Bio design Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University states that organic foods are safer as they are produced without antibiotics.

Moreover, growing organic food is good for the environment and does not contribute to its pollution. As per performed 2014 study released in the British Journal of Nutrition, organically grown crops are less likely to contain detectable pesticide levels and cadmium.

Hence, the consumption of organic food does not only contribute to better and optimal health but as well as for the environment, the animal world, the planet and the water we consume.

All these advantages of buying and consuming organic foods are true, but if they are the right ones. It seems that we have many so called “organic” foods in the states that have been imported from China which turned out to be far from organic.

Miles McEvoy, the head of the Organic Program at the United States’ Department of Agriculture (USDA), declared:

“China is a major producer of organic products, and there are continual questions about the integrity of products coming from China.” 

Why Chinese organic foods are fake?

First of all, in order to have healthy organic produce the environment in which it is grown must be clean and not polluted which in the case of China is not true since the soil and water is high in heavy metals like cadmium and lead. According to the report of Greenpeace, “contamination of soil with a number of toxic metals, including cadmium and lead, is known to be an existing problem for many parts of Hunan Province, China.”

  • Some of the food producers add fake “organic” tags on their products so that they can have better price for their production.
  • The organic production in China is poorly regulated, it cannot be stated for sure that it is grown by clear standards as there is no strict supervision of any officially recognized body.
  • The products are certified by third-party vendors, and they are not full-proven certifiers accredited by the USDA. At the website of the Chinese Organic Food Classification Centre (COFCC), you can find that they are “a special organization responsible for organic agriculture promotion and engaged in organic-food certification and management under the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.” Yet, they inspect only 30% of organic products.

In addition to this, Dr. Xia Hanbing, the manager of Shanghai Tianzai Fruits and Vegetables Specialized Co-op said that the growing process of organic foods is very difficult for the farmers and the soil and water standards are not followed. Plus, the vegetables are particularly vulnerable to diseases and pests and “the current eco-friendly measures to combat these problems are not yet developed enough to fully replace pesticides.”

We cannot state that all organic food coming from China is fake; just we need to be more careful, considering the fact that China is the third greatest exporter of agricultural products to the United States. For the time being, it is better to avoid Chinese organic foods, and wait when the Chinese government enforces better regulations.

Have in mind that even if the “organic” tag is not fake, the environment in which they are grown is most likely polluted.

We can never be sure if we have bought the right organic products, but certain tips can help us in the right choice.

Tips When Buying Organic Food

  • First of all, look up for the label an “organic certificate”, and if there is one, check if the company is legit.
  • If the label specifically emphasizes no content of GMOs, then it is probably organic.
  • If it says “fortified” with synthetic vitamins, then it is most likely not an organic product.
  • “Organic” products that are cheaper than traditional products are probably fake.

Bear in mind that organic food is the best option for you and your family and this should not deter you from your choice of following a healthy diet.

However, it is always better to be safe and check where your products come from. The best option would be to grow your own garden thus being sure of the produce you consume, or find a reliable, local vendor from where you will purchase your produce.