Saturday, January 12, 2008

THE END of Raw Almonds in America?



The USDA has mandated that all U.S. grown almonds be sanitized through
treatment processes that the industry calls "pasteurization" (fumigation
or heat). No exceptions.

This rule was passed in response to Salmonella outbreaks in 2001 and 2004
(one traced to a 9000-acre grower!). The California "Big Almond"
industry asked for this rule in order to protect themselves from consumer

More info here:

Why was this rule such a bad idea?

The rule does not address methods used on the industrial-scale almond
orchards where the only verified Salmonella outbreak occurred.

The USDA rule requires fumigation with propylene oxide, a possibly
carcinogenic chemical, or high temperature heat. Truly raw almonds will no
longer be available from American farmers. Even U.S. organic almonds will have to be heat pasteurized.

Mandating pasteurization will negatively impact small-scale and organic
growers. Spain and Italy do not mandate pasteurization. This rule promotes
foreign almond markets over our own.

The rule allows almonds to be deceptively labeled as "raw" following
these treatments.

What can YOU do?

The Cornucopia Institute [] is leading the charge
on this issue.

In February, Mark Kastel and Will Fantel of Cornucopia will talk with
high-ranking USDA officials who are actually listening to and concerned by
consumer reaction, according to Cornucopia. "They may be looking for a
compromise," Mark Kastel of Cornucopia told The Wedge.

More on this here:

To keep the pressure on, we need your help!

Please sign a proxy letter TODAY to Acting Secretary Chuck Conner! Print
it and send it to Cornucopia yourself
[] or stop by the Wedge
and sign a letter at Customer Service Desk. The Wedge will collect these
letters and send them in a batch to Cornucopia to be hand-carried to the

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