With all the food safety issues and rampant use of fake licenses and certifications, consumers in China do not have any guarantees that what they are buying is really organic. Oddly enough, Chinese import authorities recently began refusing imported products that claim they are organic unless they are approved organic in China. For example, a U.S. company that the association is currently helping to enter the market has a USDA organic seal and was certified by QAI. This is no longer acceptable, so new labels have to be created that remove the USDA organic logo and any mention of the product being organic. This is unfortunate because Chinese consumers trust foreign certifications and products.
Jeff Crowther – “Living in China, I’m always skeptical about the organic vegetables and prepackaged foods found at the supermarkets. I buy all my vegetables at the local wholesale farmer’s market. There are no organic certifications here, but at least I don’t have to pay twice as much for products that are coming from the same source. Also the farmer’s market has fresher products than what you would find in the supermarket.” (Left: local farmer’s market in Beijing)
Here is an article that was recently published by China Daily that discusses the organic problems:
China Daily 2012-05-03
Authorities will step up measures to shut down substandard organic food businesses, crackingdown on illegal activities such as certification misuse and counterfeiting of organic foodproducts.
Businesses with organic food licenses will be more closely supervised by inspectors, who willsuspend or revoke their licenses if irregularities are found, according to notice issued jointly bythe General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the mainorganic food watchdog, and the State Administration for Industry & Commerce, andCertification and Accreditation Administration.
Repackaging of organic food and illegal use of licenses for producing and selling unqualifiedfoods will be the main target.
Consumers who come across the illegal use of organic foods licenses or counterfeiting canalert authorities by calling 12365, the hot line, or visiting 12315ts.org online.
Organic foods are foods produced without use of synthetic substances such as pesticides,fertilizers and food additives. Though they are more costly, they are popular because they areconsidered safer.
About 11,090 organic food licenses had been issued to 7,728 companies by the first quarter in2012. Two million hectares are devoted to organically grown foods in China.
The original article can be found HERE