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Organic Food v. Rat Poo

Is rat shit organic food?

According to the USDA, it may be. The New York Times reports:

clipped from www.nytimes.com

Texas officials last month fired a state worker who served as a certifier because a plant owned by the Peanut Corporation of America — the company at the center of the salmonella outbreak — was allowed to keep its organic certification although it did not have a state health certificate.

A private certifier took nearly seven months to recommend that the U.S.D.A. revoke the organic certification of the peanut company’s Georgia plant, and then did so only after the company was in the thick of a massive food recall.

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Despite supposedly heavier inspections by USDA, the Peanut Corporation of America's salmonella products contaminated the nation's organic food supply prompting large numbers of recalls. Local company Golden Temple recalled more than 15,000 of its Wha Guru Chew Peanut Cashew bars. GloryBee also recalled a number of organic peanut products.

To remind its organic inspectors that rat shit isn't in fact organic food, the USDA sent out a memo the NYT quoted:

clipped from www.nytimes.com

“For example, while we do not expect organic inspectors to be able to detect salmonella or other pathogens,” Ms. Robinson wrote, “their potential sources should be obvious from such evidence as bird, rodent and other animal feces or other pest infestations.”

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