Target: Howard Sklamberg, J.D., FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Global Regulatory Operations and Policy
Goal: Protect consumers from harmful pesticides sprayed on imported quinoa
Quinoa grown with toxic pesticides is being mixed with organic quinoa and sold in the U.S., as Peruvian farmers respond to increased demand for the superfood. Since the market for the quinoa has dramatically increased within the last few years in the United States, it has created competition between farmers in Latin American countries who produce the grain.
A temperamental crop, quinoa requires the knowledge and care of the farmers in these Latin American countries to maintain quality product. However, with the high increase of interest in the grain, more pressure is put on these countries to produce more quinoa. In order to decrease the price of the very expensive organically grown quinoa, quinoa grown with pesticides in Peru is being mixed with the safely grown quinoa. While this decreases the price of the product here in the United States, manufacturers are still able to sell this mixed quinoa as organic quinoa, giving no guarantee for the safety and purity of the product.
We must demand government involvement in the United States as well as in Bolivia and Peru to help ensure the well-being of those consuming quinoa. By signing the petition below, you will help to advocate for food safety regulations on imported quinoa so we can help ensure the health of all Americans who enjoy quinoa. We must demand that the FDA help regulate, certify, and ensure the purity of organic quinoa imported from other countries.
Dear Deputy Commissioner Sklamberg,
With an increasing demand for the grain quinoa, more pressure has been put on Latin American countries like Peru and Bolivia to ensure high outputs and increased sales. In order to achieve this, some farmers in Peru have begun to use chemicals and pesticides on their quinoa crops. While other countries like Bolivia have continued to produce organically grown crops, organically grown quinoa is being mixed with quinoa grown with chemicals in order to lower prices here in the United States.
The mixture of quinoa grown with different practices makes it hard for a consumer to determine the exact quality and purity of the product. While one may purchase a product that claims to be organically grown, since the quinoa is being mixed, there is a possibility that the consumer is purchasing quinoa that is partially infused with pesticides.
To protect consumers of hazardous quinoa, I urge the FDA to implement more government involvement to help regulate food safety laws on imported quinoa. The FDA must become involved to help increase regulations and help to certify and ensure the purity of organic quinoa imported from other countries.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kurt Stueber via Wikimedia Commons