Despite massive opposition from almond producers, retailers and organic consumers, the USDA has implemented its ruling to require that raw almonds be pasteurized. The rule went into effect on September 1st, and since then, all retail outlets have been forced to remove truly raw almonds from store shelves. Consumers will be misled by this action as there will still be almonds on store shelves labeled as "raw", but they will actually be pasteurized.
One of the FDA-recommended pasteurization methods requires the use of propylene oxide, which is classified as a "possible human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is banned in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
Since the decision about the rule was made, Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, has stepped down. He is temporarily replaced by Chuck Conner. This may provide a new opportunity for reversal.
Please contact Conner today to ask that the rule be suspended for 6 months while the public comment period is re-opened.
Note: Organic Connection continues to offer Certified Organic Raw Almonds. We have ample supply from our main supplier.