The Almond Board of California has rejected a proposal from the Cornucopia Institute, which would have modified the mandate requiring that all almonds be pasteurized. Cornucopia‘s proposal called for a warning or advisory label to be placed on unpasteurized almonds, alerting consumers to the difference.
This proposal would have allowed for the continued availability of raw almonds in the marketplace, while alerting at-risk consumers that there might be some increased danger of pathogenic disease from eating untreated nuts.
A number of growers have reported unexpected increases in processing and transportation costs related to the new requirements, and one organic almond farmer told Cornucopia that he has lost $450,000 in sales due to the new rule.
In late November, staff from Cornucopia will go to Washington, D.C. to meet with the USDA Undersecretary Bruce Knight to discuss the issue. Should that fail to produce results, Cornucopia expects to head into federal court and seek a judicial remedy.