The New Yorker is the second major media outlet to recognize The Organic & Non-GMO Report‘s early role in helping to expose massive organic fraud
The New Yorker magazine recently cited The Organic & Non-GMO Report for being the first media outlet to expose the fraudulent activities of Randy Constant, the mastermind behind a $140 million scheme to sell conventional grains as organic from 2010-2017, the biggest fraud in U.S. agriculture history.
The article, titled “The Great Organic-Food Fraud” in the November 15 issue of The New Yorker, cites two articles by Ken Roseboro, editor of The Organic & Non-GMO Report, published in June and August of 2007, which first exposed Constant’s fraudulent activities.
The article states “In June and August, 2007, two stories published by The Organic & Non-GMO Report, a trade magazine, gave the first public hints of Constant’s deceptions. The articles centered on a Nevada company that processed soybeans. It had bought some supposedly organic soybeans from Jericho Solutions, but they had tested positive for G.M.O.s. The contamination was said to have cost the company a hundred thousand dollars. The magazine quoted (Linda) Holthaus, who sounded defiant: ‘There was no problem on our end. We had the paper trail. . .. Someone’s trying to nail us for something we didn’t do.’ Apparently without evidence, she blamed Chinese soybeans that had passed through the Nevada facility. The soy processor said, in response, that it had never had a G.M.O. problem with Chinese soybeans.”
There is also a reference to The Organic & Non-GMO Report later in the article: “Around the time that The Organic & Non-GMO Report wrote about Jericho Solutions, in 2007, Glen Borgerding and Duane Bushman both told their certifiers that they were uneasy about Constant’s activities; Borgerding suggested that Q.A.I. (Quality Assurance International) subject Constant to an unannounced inspection.”
The August 2007 article in The Organic & Non-GMO Report, titled “Contamination incident shows how GMOs can damage organic industry,” described in detail how Nevada Soy Products received a railcar full of what were claimed to be organic soybeans but were actually GMO. Testing by a GMO laboratory found that one sample of the soybeans from the railcar tested at a level of 20%, which is exceedingly high.
Parm Randhawa, owner of California Seed & Plant Lab, which conducted the testing, said at the time: “It is either from unintentional mixing of the railcar (with GM soybeans), or someone is trying to make money quick (by mixing GM soybeans with organic).”
The bill of lading for the fraudulent soybean shipment was signed by Constant, who operated Organic Land Management, an organic farm marketing and production business based in Chillicothe, Missouri. Constant had also set up Jericho Solutions to broker his fraudulent soybeans. Calls to Constant about the incident were never returned. The state of Nevada’s organic certifier launched an investigation but nothing resulted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program did nothing.
In August 2019, Constant plead guilty to and was convicted on one count of wire fraud and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Three days later he committed suicide. Though he was convicted of fraudulent activities from 2010-2017, he apparently was engaging in fraud as early as 2007 as the articles in The Organic & Non-GMO Report suggest.
This was the second time a major media outlet recognized The Organic & Non-GMO Report for being the first to expose Constant’s fraudulent activities. A January 17, 2020 article in the Kansas City Star also cited The Organic & Non-GMO Report for its reporting on Constant.
Now in its 20th year of publishing, The Organic & Non-GMO Report is recognized as the leading publication for the two fast-growing organic and non-GMO markets. To learn more visit www.non-gmoreport.com.
Organic & Non-GMO Insights December 2021