Monday, April 9, 2007

Stop the US from Pasteurizing All Almonds!!!

The FDA recently announced plans to begin pasteurizing all almonds. Have you signed this petition urging them not to, and urging them to label the ones that are? Also see action link at bottom of article excerpt.

Here's an excerpt from an article giving all the sordid details:

It is The Cornucopia Institute's contention that even if independent research concludes that treated almonds are in fact safe, labeling them as “raw” is misleading and deceptive to consumers, many of whom wish to purchase truly raw, unprocessed almonds. “Raw foods are increasingly in demand. The new rule is another case of the public being deprived the opportunity to intelligently choose their food supply,” said Jimbo Someck, who owns and operates four of the country’s leading independent natural food stores, in the San Diego area.

The new regulation to sterilize almonds coincides with the recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that it intends to relax its labeling requirements for irradiated food. The FDA proposal will also allow irradiation, the controversial ionization process, to be called pasteurization—a reference that is troubling many food safety watchdogs.

“Consumers deserve to know how their food has been processed,” said Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Mislabeling irradiated food as ‘pasteurized’ or treated food as ‘raw’ is an industry attempt to make consumers buy products that they otherwise might avoid.”

In light of heightened public concern, the Cornucopia Institute has appealed to USDA Secretary Mike Johannes to postpone implementation of the new regulatory requirements and reopen the almond docket to public comment. Only 18 public comments—all from the almond industry—were received on the proposal.

Unlike consumers, retailers, or other organizations concerned with food safety, all almond handlers received a personal letter or fax from the USDA alerting them to the sterilization proposal and inviting them to comment. "The industry and the USDA tried to slip this through quietly, under the radar, without adequate public scrutiny," Cornucopia's Kastel lamented. "We are asking the Secretary of a unit of government that Abraham Lincoln referred to as the ‘People's Department’ to intervene so concerned citizens can have a say. The close collaboration, away from the eyes of the citizens and the media, we are sure, is not something the Secretary will feel good about." An action alert with instructions for contacting the USDA, and a sample letter interested consumers can send to the USDA and California Almond Board, can be found on the Cornucopia Institute Website:

1 comment:

Dave Jensen said...

Hi Sketchgirl:

This is a good article on the problem with government interference in our raw foods. See this article in Sham vs. Wham, the blog, about the "Unfortuate Death of a Raw Food."

Dave Jensen, Publisher
Sham vs. Wham