18 May '11, 4pm

How fake organic fertilizer bamboozled farmers&watchdogs. Millions lbs produce sold as organic weren't worthy of label.

What's the difference?: What seemed like organic fertilizer to farmers could have been spiked with the synthetic kind. Truck photo (left): Iris Shreve Garrott It's no secret that the organic food industry has seen explosive growth, taking only a mild drubbing through the recession and then continuing its assent. At the heart of that growth has been trust -- consumers are willing to shell out more bucks for organic because the food's been grown without synthetic chemicals, with that claim verified from farm to market. Yet two major cases of federal fraud have been filed in the past six months, rocking the California farming world and alleging that probably millions of pounds of produce sold as organic over several years weren't worthy of the label. So why haven't you heard about this? Because the shady practices came from a side of the farming world that few shoppers think ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/organic-food/2011-05-18-california-h...

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