orgnatThe salmonella-peanut butter outbreak linked to a mold and poop infested peanut plant in Georgia has a lot of people spooked over food safety.

But I think even before the salmonella scare people were already leery about certain food products, especially anything manufactured in a large facility.

And despite the squeaky clean image and the perceived safeness of organic foods, they can get into trouble too.

The New York Times reveals how current organic standards can leave organics at risk:

By 2002, those ideals had been arduously translated into a set of federal organic regulations limiting pesticide use, restricting kinds of animal feed and forbidding dozens of other common agricultural practices.

To determine who would be allowed to use the green and white “certified organic” seal, the Department of Agriculture deputized as official certifiers dozens of organizations, companies and, in some cases, state workers.

These certifiers, then, are paid by the farmers and manufacturers they are inspecting to certify that the standards have been met. Depending on several factors, the fee can be hundreds or thousands of dollars. Manufacturers who buy six or seven organic ingredients to make one product are especially dependent on the web of agents.

If agents do a thorough job, the system can be effective. But sometimes it falls apart.

No doubt, this sounds no different than non-organic food regulations or any government system for that matter, sometimes the process breaks down.

And since people assume organic is safer, even if it isn’t, all the more reason for organizations, like the FDA and USDA, to sure up their operations.