Documented corruption with regulators
Now for the juicy part... There is also controversy with the 'certifying agents' who inspect organic farms to ensure they are following the regulations. Third parties who research and investigate agricultural practices, like the Cornucopia Institute
, have uncovered corruption amongst various US-based certifying agents, stating that they're "incentivized by profit and corporate influence
." They go on to explain,"The certification system is rife for fraud because certifiers are paid by the corporate clients they monitor. Certifiers then collaborate with, and financially contribute to, lobbying organizations that advance the interests of these same corporate agribusinesses."
The Washington Post reported on
unsound practices by certifying agents for Aurora Dairy--one of the biggest dairies in the US who provide milk under the Costco and WalMart brands. Cows producing organic milk are supposed to be allowed to graze every day throughout their growing season. However, monitoring of the herds and aerial photographs proved otherwise. When this issue was brought up to the certifying agents, they had no recourse because their inspections were scheduled after the grazing season was over.
The US is not alone in a lack of transparency and corruption. Recent reports coming from a news source in the Netherlands analyzed inspection reports from Skal
, the (only) Dutch company allowed to certify food in the Netherlands as organic. Their findings state
that almost one in ten farmers did not meet the EU organic standards in 2017-2018, yet the companies are still allowed to sell their products as 'organic.'