Originally published October 22 2007
Consumer groups join forces to reverse pasteurization ruling for raw almonds
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) The U.S. government is once again working closely with powerful corporations to knowingly deliver a nutritionally deficient food supply to the American people. This most recent example concerns the new rules by the Almond Board of California (ABC) and backed by the USDA to mandate the pasteurization of all commercially-grown almonds in California with substances that include highly toxic propylene oxide (PPO). As reported by the Health Freedom Foundation, propylene oxide is so toxic that it was "...banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations, where it had been used as a fuel before being deemed too dangerous."
NaturalNews has reported on this story for several months, urging consumers to help stop the ruling from going into place, but corporations won the initial round. Since September 1st, all the almonds commercially grown in California have been pasteurized or sanitized through either heat treatments or toxic chemical treatments.
Both the Organic Consumers Association (www.OrganicConsumers.org) and the Cornucopia Institute (www.Cornucopia.org) have strongly opposed this almond pasteurization requirement. Today, the Health Freedom Foundation (www.HealthFreedom.net) announced a grassroots consumer action campaign to petition the USDA to suspend these almond pasteurization rules for 180 days. NaturalNews supports this petition and urges all American consumers to support this 180-day suspension of the killing of California almonds by clicking HERE to send an online message to your legislative representatives in Washington.
NaturalNews has published a CounterThink cartoon on this subject called The Killing of California Almonds. Feel free to share the cartoon or post it on your website (along with a link back to NaturalNews).
Today NaturalNews has also posted an exclusive video interview on the subject of almond pasteurization fraud. In the video, we interview Seth Leaf, co-founder of LivingNutz (www.LivingNutz.com), a small manufacturer of hand-made raw, sprouted nut products that has been caught up in the chaos of this bewildering decision by the Almond Board of California. Click here to view this video interview on YouTube.
Read NaturalNews's previous article coverage of this topic in the following stories:
Food Scam: Almond Board of California to falsely label pasteurized almonds as "raw"
Cornucopia Institute reveals agribusiness conspiracy to mislead consumers over almonds
Almond Board of California changes its story following NaturalNews article
Fraudulent marketing, illegal labelingThe Almond Board of California is right now conspiring with the USDA to allow the fraudulent labeling of almonds that are being sold to consumers. How? Pasteurized, fumigated or cooked almonds will be openly labeled as "raw" almonds. As you can see from previous stories published by NaturalNews on this issue, the Almond Board of California recognizes no substantial difference between cooked and raw almonds, and thus does not see any need to distinguish between them on product packaging.
I believe this position is an example of outright consumer marketing fraud designed to misinform consumers and protect the sales of pasteurized almonds by intentionally mislabeling them as "raw." No reasonable person would dare say that cooked eggs are the same as raw eggs, or that cooked lettuce is the same as raw, fresh lettuce, but somehow the Almond Board of California continues to pretend that cooked almonds are virtually identical to raw almonds. The advocating of this position is, in my opinion, a violation of truth in labeling laws and nothing short of a corporate-masterminded conspiracy to intentionally hoodwink consumers by selling them an inferior (cooked) product that is knowingly mislabeled.
Raw almonds, for the record, are vastly superior to cooked almonds in terms of nutrition. They contain more anti-cancer phytonutrients, more usable protein and healthier fats. Once these elements are exposed to high temperatures (through pasteurization or other methods), these nutritional qualities are irreversibly degraded, rendering the almond deficient in the nutrients it had when it was first harvested. This degradation of health-enhancing nutrients has the result of contributing to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances in North American consumers -- people who are already in a state of chronic nutritional deficiency due to the consumption of other processed foods.
It also sets a precedent for the intentional mislabeling of food products being purchased by North American consumers. The FDA is already on record stating that irradiated foods should not be truthfully labeled as such since the label might "confuse" and "misinform" consumers (who are apparently too stupid to understand what irradiation really means, the FDA believes). Now, with the USDA backing this fraudulent labeling decision by the Almond Board of California, we have two dominant government agencies (the FDA and USDA) who are both in favor of the blatant mislabeling of food products in order to keep consumers ignorant of how their foods are really being processed and degraded.
Two issues need to be reversedThere are really two important issues here that need to be reversed in order for the almond industry to regain any real credibility with consumers:
1) The ruling requiring the mandatory pasteurization or fumigation of all almonds needs to be rescinded. Raw almonds represent no legitimate health risk whatsoever to consumers. (There's far more e.coli in meat products, and you don't see the U.S. government banning raw meat, do you?)
2) The labeling of pasteurized almonds as "raw" needs to be stopped. This is fraudulent, misleading labeling and it has the effect of causing consumers to realize they cannot trust ANY almonds, regardless of what the package says. After all, if pasteurized is labeled as "raw" then what does "organic" mean on the package? What does anything mean? The words on the package apparently have no meaning at all; at least not one that regular people would understand and agree to. This will ultimately lead to devastating financial losses among U.S. almond growers. In my interview with Seth Leaf, for example, we learn that Seth's company, Living Nutz (www.LivingNutz.com), now has to purchase raw almonds from Spain!
The Almond Board of California has, in my opinion, lost its marbles. Can we interject some sanity into this issue and pressure the ABC and USDA to restore integrity to the U.S. almond industry? We'll know soon enough. In the mean time, you can play an important role in these three ways:
Action items1) Contact your representatives in Washington and call, write or fax them a letter telling them strongly oppose this fraudulent action by the ABC and USDA.
2) Share the cartoon: The Killing of California Almonds.
3) Share the video interview: Seth Leaf speaks out about pasteurized "raw" almonds.
Thank you for your effort. Together, we have a legitimate shot at bringing the almond industry back to its senses and restoring truly raw almonds to the marketplace. And if this doesn't fly, NaturalNews will be announcing a global boycott of almonds grown in the United States (and asking you to join along...)
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