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USDA Bans Organic Inspector From Inspecting Chinese Food Imports

The United States Department of Argiculture (USDA) banned one of the country's leading organizations responsible for the organic certification of foods imported from China.

The USDA found that the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA - website), based in Nebraska, was using employees of the Chinese government to inspect Chinese state-run farms.

Such practices were deemed to be a conflict of interest, which is particularly worrisome to American food inspectors given China's problems with food safety in recent years.

According to the New York Times, Zhou Zejiang, a senior adviser to the American group's Chinese partner, said the USDA could have avoided a ban and resolved the conflict by requiring the OCIA to use independent inspectors to visit farms run by the Chinese government.

While the OCIA is banned from China, the organization has retained its accreditation for certification activities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Read More:

  • U.S. Drops Inspector of Food in China (New York Times)
  • National Organic Program Settles With Certifier in China Enforcement Ends Conflict of Interest on Inspections, Bans OCIA in China (

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