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Chellie Pingree Calls For Improved Inspections On Organic Imports

Consumers in the U.S. are buying more organic products than ever before — organic food sales now make up more than 5 percent of the total market, and the industry continues to see record growth.

But Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District is worried about what she said are inadequate standards and inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for organic imports.

“In some areas 50 percent of the soybeans are coming from outside the country right now that are labeled organic, and if we can’t trust what they are then all the hardworking farmers who grow soybeans in the United States and we know meet the certification laws aren’t being treated fairly,” she said.

Speaking to a crowd at the Common Ground Country Fair on Friday in Unity, Pingree said she’ll be meeting with the USDA next week to make sure there’s adequate funding to do inspections, but she said she also wants to ensure that the Trump administration is committed to upholding the organic label.