Today the FDA allows food companies to label where a food was manufactured (where it underwent "substantial transformation” in the language of the FDA Code). What may come as a surprise is that the FDA does NOT mandate that food companies share where the ingredients originated. This means a manufacturer can buy ingredients from China, mix them with other sources, package the product in a U.S. facility, and call it “Made in the USA.”
That’s not transparency. Consumers deserve to know not only where finished foods are made, but the origin of their ingredients. Well-known food brands are, in many cases, asking people to pay for what they mistakenly believe are U.S.-made foods — when in reality their ingredients come from places never mentioned on the package. That presents risks consumers have no idea they’re taking.
What we don’t know can hurt us.
One notorious example was reported in 2007. Chinese manufactures sold pet treats that were adulterated with melamine, a dangerous chemical. Melamine was added to spike the protein content of the ingredient, allowing the manufacturer to claim higher protein levels than were actually present in the food. The case escalated from mere economic deception to criminal fraud as pets who ate the tainted food died across the U.S. It was hardly an isolated case. The New York Times reported that the addition of "melamine scrap" to fish and livestock feed to falsify protein levels was an open secret in many parts of China.
In 2008, several companies were implicated in a scandal involving milk and infant formula that had been adulterated with melamine, leading to kidney stones and other renal failure. Nearly 300,000 people fell sick, more than 50,000 infants were hospitalized, and six infants died. An internet search for “contaminated food ingredients in China” reveals a shocking pattern of abuse. That food brands continue to use Chinese ingredients without informing consumers — including “Certified Organic” ingredients — is misleading at best.
Consumers have the power.
If you knew exactly where your organic foods were grown and processed, would it change what you buy? Would you trust brands that choose to use Chinese Organic ingredients in their products? Or would you opt for “USDA Certified Organic, Grown & Made in USA”?
At PURIS, we want a world where consumers understand where their food comes from — start to finish. PURIS is the “China Free” choice. Our Certified USDA Organic Pea Protein is the only pea protein entirely grown and made in the USA. The food companies we work with deserve credit for using Certified Organic ingredients that are 100% made in America. When they use the “USDA Certified Organic Grown & Made in USA” seal, that gives consumers the confidence to vote with their dollars.
Look closer at your favorite brands of organic protein. Where exactly do they get their pea protein from? Is it grown in the U.S.? Is it from Canadian peas sent for processing in China — or worse — is it from peas grown and processed in China, sent to the U.S. and packaged with a Certified Organic label?
It’s your money and your family’s health. We’re here to help you choose wisely.