The USDA approved a proposal by the Almond Board of California to pasteurize almonds sold to the public, after tracing cases of salmonellosis to almonds.
The almond pasteurization program became mandatory for California companies in 2007. Raw, untreated California almonds haven't been available in the U.S. since then. California almonds labeled "raw" must be steam-pasteurized or chemically treated with propylene oxide. This doesn't apply to imported almonds  or almonds sold from the grower directly to the consumer in small quantities. The treatment also isn't required for raw almonds sold for export outside of North America. The USDA-approved marketing order was challenged in court by organic farmers organized by the Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group. According to the Cornucopia Institute, this almond marketing order has imposed significant financial burdens on small-scale and organic growers and damaged domestic almond markets. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in the spring of 2009 on procedural grounds. In August 2009 farmers were appealing.
This so disappointed me. The USDA, in the name of protecting us from some disease we might get from eating raw almonds?, has mandated that almonds be either pasteurized (kinda defies the definition of "raw") or gassed with a poisonous chemical.
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