Friday, April 2, 2010

Improve oversight of organic farms, investigators tell California

"California must improve its oversight of the state's organic farmers or face Agriculture Department sanctions, federal investigators say.
In a new report, investigators recount both "significant improvements" and lingering shortcomings in how California and the U.S. Department of Agriculture itself monitor more than 2,000 certified organic farmers. In particular, investigators cite a longstanding lack of compliance and enforcement procedures designed to keep the fast-growing organic industry honest.
"As a result," the Agriculture Department's Office of Inspector General noted, "the California (state organic program) is not equipped to properly enforce the requirements of the (national organic program).""

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