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Dear California Organic Farmers:

I was distressed to read that I will no longer be able to purchase raw California almonds. The article I read stated that I will not be able to do this because the growers association is concerned about 12 cases of contamination. The article went on to say that the growers association are concerned about their reputation and so they want to be safe and not allow purchases of raw almonds. Please don’t do this. Don’t deny me the right to make decisions about my own food safety. Please allow me and any others who wish to do so to continue to buy raw almonds. I’m old enough to decide what risks I am willing to assume ­ please, I don’t need someone to make these kinds of decisions for me. If you are truly concerned about your reputation, please consider the number of people who will not appreciate your decision to “protect” them. If nothing else, offer both raw and processed almonds and include a disclaimer for the raw nuts ­ thereby allowing people to make their own choices. Please let us continue to purchase raw California almonds.

Dear Folks At Living Tree,

I think it’s a disgrace that almonds are now going to be fumigated. Unfortunately, many of the same people that have tried over the years to ban or limit dosage dramatically of vitamins, etc. are the same ones behind this fumigation. And yes, I’m sorry to say, but unfortunately, many of the politicians that I’m sure you folks have supported in the past and have thought that they represented equality for all and opportunity are the biggest backers for the monopolistic Medication Association, Food and Drug Administration.

And yes, I have seen first hand way back in the 70s how people like Ted Kennedy made sure that I wasn’t able to obtain apricot kernels, citing the dangers associated with eating them, yet, at the same time, allowing dangerous drugs, prescription and over the counter, to continue to be dispensed.

Yes, it is a real shame what they’re done to a perfect food like raw almonds, and yes, policies like this will continue under the guise of saving us from ourselves. Pure hypocrisy! This is why we must carefully scrutinize the candidates and where they stand on such important issues like freedom of choice in folks making their own decisions concerning their health.


Dennis Guerrerio,
Whitestone, New York

Dear Ms. Miars:

Almonds are a major part of my diet. I need my food to be truly natural,organic and raw. No longer having access to true raw almonds is a an affront to my health, my freedoms as a human being and an American citizen.

I respectfully urge you to engage your organization’s power to stop the universal pasteurization/fumigation order of the California almond board. Raw foodists depend on almonds as the premier nut in our diets. Our growing tribe of discerning consumers are loyal and dependable customers who will choose to stop eating almonds if you fail us.


Joseph Frank
San Francisco, CA

Dear CCOF:

I just heard about the Almond Pasteurization that is to take place on September 1, 2007. I am outraged, angered, appalled and saddened at what is happening here. As a person that cannot tolerate dairy products, I have been making Raw Organic Almond Milk for my family for years now. We use soaked/sprouted almonds in many of our delicious Raw dishes. How can this be that the FDA can be allowed to have so much power over what we eat? I do not understand this. It is VERY wrong.

People choose to pay the higher price for organic raw foods for their health and well being. I choose to pay the higher price, but to pay a higher price for adulterated foods is unacceptable! What happened to the freedoms that we are granted by our US Constitution? Are we REALLY free to choose or deceptively free and controlled by our caring Government, FDA, and pharmaceutical companies? Is this another way to increase the numbers of various sickness and cancer cases?

CCOF: We who choose Raw Unadulterated foods for ourselves and our families ask you to please protect your consumers and all those who value their Freedom of Choice by fighting aggressively to keep your almonds pure, raw, and unadulterated for the generations of today and those to come.

Thank you,


It has been brought to my attention that the California Almond Board is considering a potentially hazardous use of chemicals to prevent salmonella in crops.

To wit, “The vast majority of almonds, however, would be fumigated with propylene oxide. It is a substance very much like ether. It is classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The chemical is classified as “possibly” carcinogenic only because there have been no takers for the prospect of imbibing the stuff to see what would happen. Propylene oxide belongs to the so-called “radiomimetic” genotoxic chemicals group, because it induces similar biological end-points as ionizing radiation. The chemical’s effects on food include gene mutation, DNA strand breaks, and neoplastic cell transformation. That’s why propylene oxide treatment of foods is banned in the European Union and other countries concerned with the health of their citizenry.”

I ask, on behalf of your constituency, that you intercede in this area and ask that they use another method (which DOES exist) as a prophylactic to further outbreaks of salmonella.

Thank you,
Tim Shullberg
Long Beach, CA

Hello to those of the CCOF.

I am a Canadian almond lover, who would prefer her raw almonds to be in as natural a state as possible when I consume them. I think it is atrocious that there is to be an all around pasteurization order by order of the California Almond Board. There is a great deal of literature that proves that pasteurization, irradiation and genetic modification of foods we eat is at the basis of a great deal of long term health issues we the consumers would deal with. And there is nothing worse than not even realizing that is what one is eating. We deserve at the very least the choice to do so, by having it labelled on our purchases. It behoves you as an organization, as almond growers yourselves to protest this and stop it when you have the chance.

I am sure that once you have all the facts at your disposal, you will know what to do and how to mobilize. And I am sure that you will be able to proceed swiftly in this matter because of course time is of the essence.


Sheri Patterson

The key word is: freedom of choice.
Freedom to live where you want
Freedom to choose where you work
And Freedom to choose what you eat,
And know what you are eating.

If someone chooses to eat mainstream commercial food, then that is a choice.

But if someone wants to make the choice to eat raw, unadulterated organic almonds What happens if that choice is no longer available? Our freedom of choice is gone. And that is a sad day when what our people can no longer make a conscious choice; It is made for them.

Please, CCOF: Protect your consumers, and all people who love Freedom of choice By fighting to keep your almonds pure & raw for generations to come.




I am a woman living in Virginia. I have always grown my own vegetables without pesticides. I love reaping the harvest of what I have sown and God has blessed with life.

I have raised three children to appreciate the health-giving properties of fresh fruit, vegetables and pure water.

I understand that you are being pressured by government agencies to pasteurize the almonds that you sell to consumers.

Please realize that to many raw vegans, pure raw almonds are a main staple of life and that once they are pasteurized they are no longer raw. Fumigating, irradiating and pasteurizing is tampering with the wonderful perfect nut. Please listen to what we are asking you to do and use any legal means possible to stop this mandatory order that is to take effect on September 1, 2007

Respectfully submitted,

Karen H. Bennett
Stafford, Virginia

Dear CCOF:

Me and my family and friends eat raw almonds everyday. We rely heavily on the protein and minerals in almonds to fuel and nurture us in school, work, and athletic events. I would be devastated if I could no longer get raw, non-pasteurized almonds from the central valley. Please do what ever you can to fight the mandatory pasteurization order that is supposedly starting in September.

Please email me if there is anything further that I can do to help this cause.

Sincerely, Oliver Mork

Dear Secretary Johanns,

I am extremely upset to hear that the rule recently passed about the mandatory pasteurization of almonds is due to go into effect on September the 1st this year. If you do not AT LEAST allow raw almonds to be sold (at a fair price) in this country, you will be, in essence, assisting in destroying my health.

Additionally, if you allow mandetory pasteurization of almonds to occur, it is only a matter of time when this practice will become mandetory for all nuts and seeds — in essence destroying the nutrient content contained within — and again, adding to the destruction of my health.

Raw nuts and seeds are my PRIMARY source of quality proteins. RAW almonds are also one of my chief sources of calcium.

I am sure you are aware of the many health promoting aspects of almonds. If not, it is time for you to do your research — you have no right to make decisions affecting the health of people in this country if you do not have adequate knowledge about what foods are nutrient dense and how heating/cooking destroys the majority of nutrients in our foods.

I am well aware of the “conflicting” research pertaining to “pasteurized” vs. “raw” and “organic” vs. “conventional”. Much of this research is funded by those who would benefit from the destruction of healthy food sources, thus the validity of these studies is suspect since statistics can be made to “lie”.

Businesses — and the people who run them — seem to be more interested in making a profit than in helping the general public. They look for the shortest, most cost-effective way of providing “good enough” products to the public for the highest price feasible. They are concerned only with IMMEDIATE results — not LONG TERM EFFECTS.

HOPEFULLY, you are NOT one of them — and instead are one of the people who chooses integrity over personal gain, who “sees” the long reaching effects of these types of laws on not only the general population, BUT ALSO ON YOUR OWN CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, and other relatives who are impacted by the quailty (or lack thereof) of the available food sources.

IF SO — PLEASE do thorough research on this subject. Pay attention to the statistics AND THE VALIDITY OF THE STUDIES. Pay attention to WHO PAID FOR the studies — and be aware of any hidden agendas on their part.

If you do, you will most likely discover the truth.

For example — some of the “truth” as it pertains to almonds — when the raw nuts are heated/pasteurised, the fats change composition and they no longer deliver the same nutritional benefits to the body (instead, becoming detrimental, especially to the liver and gall bladder). Also, the calcium content becomes difficult for the body to assimilate and utilize.

It is common knowledge that foods in their “raw” state are significantly healthier than cooked foods — that is why we are advised to eat lots of RAW fruits and vegetables.


A person of integrity could do no less.

Thank you for your time. Sincerely,

Millicent Pagan
Bronx, NY


The recent decision to pasturize almonds is absolutely not needed and in fact an assault to those of us who are health seekers and want food as close to the way nature presents it to us.

My fear for myself and those to follow is the ever growing de regulation of Organic Standards with an increase in irradiated and pastuerized food. At least we should be allowed a choice.

As a Registered Nurse with years of exposure to the horrors of adverse effects by medication the FDA deemed safe, there is a similar essense to this totally unjustified rule to pastuerize almonds.

Please let me know anything I can do to contact my local politicians or anyone else who has a say so regarding these matters.

Janice Morris RN
Daly City, CA

Dear Sirs:

We are a family of four in Texas. All of our lives were changed when my wife began to center our family’s diet on organic, raw vegetarian fare. I was skeptical at first, especially because of my preference for diary products and eggs. However, as I could see the differences in the quality of our health become increasingly obvious, my skepticism changed to a kind of amazement at the transforming aspects of this change in lifestyle.
Nuts and especially raw almonds are an important component of the vegan diet as they are used in many forms including raw almond milk. Given that almond production is predominately California-based, you have a special responsibility as a steward of this agricultural product for the nation. Please reconsider your ruling as regards requiring the pasteurizing of California almonds; that segment of the market that demands raw, organic almonds will likely continue to expand. Heat kills enzymes and mainstream scientific evidence continues to mount that bleaching enzymes is profoundly detrimental to the nutritional value of foods. California enjoys a national reputation as a progressive, intelligent state as far as a number of its state policies are concerned. We hope your actions will be in keeping with this tradition.


G Chandler & Oksana Vaughan, Paul (5) and David (2)

Dear Ms. Miars,

I was shocked when I heard the decision to label fumigated or irradiated almonds as organic. As someone who is just starting out on a raw foods diet I depend on raw almonds as a valuable source of protein. I do understand that your organization was left out of the decision process which is equally shocking. Please do everything in your power with the support of the raw foods community to stop this ridiculous declaration from be implemented. For too long corporations in this country have been allowed to lie to the public about their activities and especially when it comes to food labeling and processing. We as a community need to stand up and be counted using what ever peaceable means we have to alter this course of deceit. Please find a way to fight this awful practice now so that we can still have some measure of faith in foods that we eat.

Patrick McIntyre

Dear CCOF,

I am really sad to hear that the rule recently passed about the mandatory pasteurisation of almonds is due to go into effect on September the 1st this year. As a raw foodist, raw almonds are one of my chief sources of protein, calcium, B vitamins and healthy fats, besides being the only nut to have an overall alkalising effect on the body, which helps people to heal from illnesses. Raw almonds help nourish the bones and teeth in particular. Raw almonds have been and will be especially useful to me as a raw foodist ­ they are calming on the nervous system, packed with vital life-force energy and easy to use in many ways, from eating whole as snacks to making replacement milks/cheeses etc for people who are intolerant to dairy products.

When raw nuts are heated/pasteurised, they lose their vital life-force, the fats change composition and they no longer deliver the same nutritional benefits to the body (instead, becoming detrimental in fact, especially to the liver and gall bladder). Raw, living foods in their most natural whole state are extremely healing and have been documented as helping people reverse any number of health complaints, from obesity to cancers to infertility. It concerns me that if this new rule DOES go through in respect to the almonds, it will set a precedent for such laws in regard to other produce too and access to these healing raw foods will become limited.

I urge you to do whatever you can in your power to turn this rule around NOW, to ensure the continued availability of truly raw almonds (and other produce) for ourselves and those generations to come.

Yours sincerely,

Seattle, WA

To: US Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns

From: Kristina Bystrom, Kenmore, WA, USA

Dear Secretary Johanns,

On Friday, March 30th, the California Almond Board passed a mandatory almond pasteurization order. It requires that all almonds be pasteurized beginning September 1, 2007. I am extremely concerned about this rule, and I implore you to do whatever it takes to turn this rule around right NOW, to ensure the continued availability of truly raw almonds (and other produce) now and for generations. I, as the consumer, must be allowed to make my own choice whether or not to purchase pasteurized or raw almonds.

It is equally disturbing that this ruling makes no distinction made between conventional grown and organic almonds. Both are subject to the same pasteurization order despite the fact that the standards of sanitation and cleanliness are higher with organic. The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), the largest body of organic almond growers was not invited to participate in the hearings on before the mandate became law, though organic almonds bring in more sales revenue than any other organic fruit or vegetable in California. Seventy-six members of CCOF are either almond growers or handlers.

The new regulation to sterilize almonds coincides with the recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that it intends to relax its labeling requirements for irradiated food. The FDA proposal will also allow irradiation… to be called pasteurization… (Press Release, The Cornucopia Institute, 4/6/07)

Personally, my diet consists of only raw, unprocessed, organic foods. Raw almonds add a significant nutritional value to this diet, providing an important source of protein, calcium, B vitamins and healthy fats, and helping nourish the bones and teeth. When almonds are pasteurized/heated, their composition is completely changed, reducing or eliminating much of the benefits or eating them raw, and even causing detrimental effects on the body.

I am concerned that the required pasteurization of almonds in California may lead to similar rules for other raw foods. As someone who is thriving on a raw food diet, I can’t emphasize strongly enough how detrimental this would be to me and the thousands of other Americans choosing to eat raw food for health.

Please do not let this happen. Allow me the choice, as a citizen of a free country.

Thank you,

Kristina Bystrom
Kenmore, WA, USA

Dear CCOF,

With regard to the proposed regulation that would mandate sterilization of future Ca. organic almond crops- please let me know what I can do to help you halt this bit of anti- organic thuggery.


Irene Holroyd
Seattle, WA

Dear California Certified Organic Farmers,

We are now facing what noted primate researcher Dr. Jane Goodall predicted. Namely we are facing the greatest threat to the survival of the human species: apathy. That’s right Dr. Goodall predicted that apathy will be the greatest threat to the human species’ chance of survival. If we refrain from voicing our concerns over GMO, irradiated and pasteurized foods then we might as well give up. Please please use your considerable influence to lobby against the madness of steaming and chemically processing foods, Almonds, and then labeling them “Raw” or “Organic.” If we are restricted from voting with our wallets by “Big-Brother” then there is little hope for us.

Donald Lindsay

Dear CCOF,

It has come to my attention that a mandatory almond pasteurization order is being passed by the California Almond Board. I vehemently object to this as I make it a point to ingest as much fresh, live, organic, non-pasteurized, irradiated food as I possibly can. Unfortunately, this is seemingly more and more difficult to do.

I take great comfort in knowing that CCOF exists and has the clout to represent those of us who want desperately to continue eating foods as nature intended. It is in this spirit that I write this letter with the request that you continue to mobilize against the FDA’s proposed “relaxation” of labeling requirements organic standards and this most recent regulation to sterilize our almonds.

With deep appreciation for the work you do,

M. Lanz
Lower Lake, CA 95457

It is so disheartening to see what is happening to our countries’ food and medical industry. I’m saddened that the CCOF were (I’m sure intentionally) not invited to attend the hearings regarding the pasteurizing of raw almonds. It seems that big corporation bottom line has become more important than human life. I don’t doubt that other standardized almond/nut producers were involved in passing this legislation. The only way that we can protect our ability to choose how to maintain our own health is by taking a stand. I urge you to do what it takes to keep this new legislation from taking away more or our rights. Thank you for your time.

Dana Holle

Dear CCOF,

It has come to my attention that a mandatory almond pasteurization order is being passed by the California Almond Board. I vehemently object to this as I make it a point to ingest as much fresh, live, organic, non-pasteurized, irradiated food as I possibly can. Unfortunately, this is seemingly more and more difficult to do.

I take great comfort in knowing that CCOF exists and has the clout to represent those of us who want desperately to continue eating foods as nature intended. It is in this spirit that I write this letter with the request that you continue to mobilize against the FDA’s proposed “relaxation” of labeling requirements organic standards and this most recent regulation to sterilize our almonds.

With deep appreciation for the work you do,

Gary Lanz
Hermosa Beach,CA 90254

To the fine folks at the CCOF:

I am a recent convert to ‘thoughtful eating.’ No, that’s not a new diet or a new book, it’s just a catch-all term for how my eating has changed over the last half-year or more. I started thinking and reading about how my foods are produced, and what effects my foods have on my mood and health (both acute and chronic) and I made a lot of changes.

One of the most simple changes I made was buying Organic. Another, more difficult change I’ve made, is trying to eat more raw foods. Which brings me to the point of this letter.

I’m VERY concerned about this California Almond Board mandate to treat or pasteurize all almonds. It flies in the face of healthy eating, and of equal importance, freedom of choice!! I already pay a big price for some corn products shipped from Australia which are GMO-free, don’t make me support large energy consumption thru shipping by making California almonds processed.

Please fight the good fight on this on my behalf and the behalf of other thoughtful consumers who want to eat raw foods, want to eat pesticide-free foods, and want to eat foods produced close to them.

Lara Gifford RN
Portland, Oregon

Dear CCOF members:

On Friday, March 30th, the California Almond Board passed a mandatory almond pasteurization order. It requires that all almonds be pasteurized beginning September 1, 2007.

Please protest this order. I love my raw organic almonds and buy hundreds of pounds a year from my local organic food store for my family. I try to buy local whenever possible and would be saddened to have to get raw almonds from a non-U.S. source if the California Almond Board and the FDA follow through with this mandate unchecked.

Thank you for all you do to keep consumers safe with certified organic food.

Nicole Francis Birdeau

Dear CCOF,

The Almond Board of California (ABC) recently received approval for their Action Plan and Mandate concerning Pasteurization of Almonds.

I am extremely concerned about this aggressive plan to pasteurize all California almonds. This mandate has made no allowances for the raw, organic consumer.

Will a consumer have to become a DV to purchase unpasteurized almond products? This is the only exception I could find.

I am a consumer of organic, raw almonds. Almonds are a primary part of my living-foods, healthy lifestyle. I slightly sprout raw, organic almonds to maximize their nutrition. I eat or make almond milk from the sprouted almonds. I also purchase organic, raw, sprouted almond butter from a number of vendors in California. I spend at between $200 to $250 a month on California sprouted, raw, organic almonds, and/or almond butter due to the high nutritional value of raw, organic, sprouted almonds.

The two methods that ABC proposed for “pasteurizing” are steaming, blanching, oil roasting and spraying with Propylene Oxide creates an almond that I do not want to consume.

As an educated consumer, I know that a steamed (blanched) or oil roasted almond will not sprout. The fragile enzymes are severely reduced or completely lost. The nutritional value and micronutrients does not remain the same, it is in fact, reduced and changes after steaming, or roasting. ABC published on their website, “pasteurization such as steam, moist heat, other thermal processes and non-thermal treatments that will not adversely affect the characteristics of a “raw” almond.” This is simply NOT TRUE.

Also, as you are well aware, spraying almonds with Propylene oxide does not make almonds any safer for consumption. In fact, it makes them more toxic. It nullifies almonds being labeled organic. Propylene Oxide is a government regulated hazardous substance and known Carcinogen, and suspected as a developmental toxicant, gastrointestinal liver toxicant, immunotoxicant, neurotoxicant, reproductive toxicant, skin and sensory organ toxicant. Spraying with this substance is NOT pasteurizing, in the original intended meaning of the word.

The residues left on almonds from this chemical will damage a person’s health over time and damage reproduction. Growers, shellers, and handlers using this chemical will also be harmed.

Two cases of Salmonella do not seem justify this aggressive mandate with such negative consequences. Especially, when there is time for a more moderate approach to be taken.

In the case of the spinach, romaine lettuce and mix salad greens has a far worse outbreak of Salmonella, the problem was found with the specific farms and dealt with relatively quickly. Currently, people continue eating these food items and reap the health benefits.

Salmonella, stated on ABC’s website is “spread by contaminated water, poor fertilization methods and other agricultural practices.” A more appropriate plan of action is that the clean farming practices should be taught and farming practices should be monitored for prevention.

Also, Salmonella is spread by handlers not practicing hand washing. Therefore, a more appropriate plan of action would be that the handlers need to be educated to practice hand washing. The facilities need to have areas for hand washing.

As an educated consumer, I thoroughly wash my almonds (and all my organic fruits and vegetables) before sprouting, using organic, non-toxic, fruit wash. I am well aware that the California vendors that I purchase organic, raw, sprouted almond butter from handle their almonds with extreme care. That is why I’m willing to pay up to $35 for a 16oz. jar of raw, organic, almond butter that is processed in a clean facility that washes their equipment thoroughly between batches.

My lifestyle consists of maximizing nutrition and minimizing toxins. My health has changed for the better due to this lifestyle. I have personally overcome many serious illnesses due to eating clean (from toxic chemicals) living raw foods. Truly raw, organic, sprouted almonds have been a major contributor to my new found good health.

This mandate threatens my heath and my healthy lifestyle due to that fact that California truly raw, organic almonds are a major part of my diet. I hope you see that this mandate threatens the consumer and does not protect the consumer.

The market trend is that many consumers are shifting to organic. This lowers their exposure to toxic chemical residues and genetically modified foods. Consumers are realizing the health benefits of eating a whole food, raw, organic diet.

This mandate will sabotage many intricate areas of the almond industry, as far as, raw, organic almonds are concerned. Did they include the CCOF in there development of this plan? They made no distinction between organic and non-organic almonds. What research have they done on the new market trends of organic and how this mandate will potentially affect California’s almond industry?

I predict that once organic, raw consumers find out about this mandate, California Almond growers will lose a large portion of these types of consumers, buyers, and handlers. We need to act now. We need to find some kind of solution or work around.

Consumers should continue to have access to purchase truly raw, California organic almonds that are unpasteurized. I will not purchase “raw” organic California almonds which are not actually raw, but instead steamed or sprayed with a carcinogen.

Financially, it can be translated to this, the California almond industry will lose $3,000 per year (at least) from me, if a proper solution is not found. It’s obvious that a significant amount of my income goes to purchasing California raw, organic almonds and almond butter, as well as, organic, raw foods. I am one consumer, but I speak for many.

I want to buy from California, and support USA farming and industry, but this mandate will change that, if no action is taken. My health and the health of others comes first. I will encourage all consumers to do what ever they can to help revise or change this mandate. If this mandate goes through, I will encourage consumers to avoid all California almonds unless they are truly raw and organic.

It seems unwise for the Almond Board of California to continue with this Plan of Action/Mandate in this way.

Please, fight to have them REVISE this Plan of Action/Mandate to make exceptions for raw, organic consumers.

Finally, the message relayed via on ABC’s website states that they are committed, “to providing the safest and highest quality product possible for consumers”.

If this is the truth, then they need to empower the health consumer to have truly raw, organic almonds.

Thank you for your help in this matter, if I can do anything to help don’t hesitate to email or call. In the meantime, I am writing letters and emails to inform as many people about this issue.

Seana Wood
Philadelphia, PA

I live in Idaho in the mountains. I can not grow my own organic almonds and I am relying on these folks in California to do it for me. Please do not force this fumigation on the almonds. This is a complete and natural food all by itself and I personally don’t want mine tampered with. Please give me the freedom to keep this choice.


Ginny Blakeslee Breen
Hailey, ID 83333

Dear Almond Growers Association,

As a very environmentally and health conscious person who eats mostly raw foods, raw organic almonds are a STAPLE of my diet. I buy generally 25 to 50 pounds from california growers per year. Almonds are very healthful protein food and one of the only nuts that are not acid forming. I enjoy making milks, loaves deserts and burgers with them. If they were to be fumigated (no longer organic and clean) or steamed (no longer raw) I would no longer use them and neither would the many many health conscious people in our country who rely on them as a regular and very important component of their diet. Please do not let the government take away our almonds and our freedom to have a choice.

Thank you, sincerely, Virginia
Millfield, Ohio, 45761

Our country was built on freedom foremost, as well as common sense and democracy. This issue of forcing all almonds to be pasteurized takes away our freedom of choice and does not make sense. Who is afraid of almonds anyway? Humans for millennia have survived quite well without irradiating or pasteurizing their food.

There are so many good farmers out there that can produce good almonds and all kinds of foods without the need for pasteurizing. But, recent improper factory farming by a few gives rise to extra fear and controls. The goal should not be to punish everyone including the consumer for these mistakes, it is to increase standards on the one hand without destroying the nutrients and enzymes of these tremendous foods, while preserving the nutrition of our very important farm food on the other. Pasteurization sterilizes almonds and destroys nutrients and enzymes making them an inferior dead food.

There are many great farmers that are the backbone of our nation and can produce almonds without having to resort to such desperate measures. These wonderful dedicated farmers are quite capable and have done so throughout their generations of farming. Regulate the bad farmers, praise the good farmers and above all, don’t make everyone a loser with this legislation by supplying inferior food quality because of the mistakes of a few.

Sincerely yours, Joseph Lucier

Hi there,

I eat almonds almost everyday. I have purchased my almonds from growers in California to have here in Alberta, Canada. I have made almonds a part of a healthy diet/lifestyle I have adopted. One of the most important things to me is to be able to eat my almonds raw with all of their inherit enzymes and natures goodness intact. I am very disturbed to realize that I may not be able to receive truly raw almonds this fall. I resent being told that I cannot choose what is best for me because your board is taking away the growers choice to sell me “untreated” “unpasteurized” almonds. At the very least I believe I should be able to purchase organic “untreated in any way” almonds. I believe that almonds should be eaten the way nature prepares them. Who would suppose that they could improve on nature’s miracle? If almonds are contaminated by samonella bacteria, maybe the environment where the almonds came from should be the first line of defence in preventing future outbreaks. If high quality organic growing was the norm instead of big agri-business techniques I believe we would have never encountered this situation in the first place.

Thank you for your time,


Greetings Executive Director!

I am writing you with the intention of supporting the highest interests of organic growers (and consumers) by offering thoughtful reasoning into the current situation regarding “mandatory” almond “pasteurization”.

Based on a recent reply I received from the almond board, I believe that there were only three incidents where e-coli was claimed to have been traced to almond growers over the past couple years. The reply made no mention of any personal injuries due to the contamination. More importantly there is no mention that any of these incidents involved organic growers! If no organic growers are suspect in e-coli contamination then, IMO, it is perfectly reasonable to have the organic growers exempted from “mandatory” almond “pasteurization”. The reasoning is that the organic growers already have their own standards in place that assure a high enough quality product that meets the approval and satisfaction of the consumer. As far as I know there are no consumer complaints over issues of contamination before the either the almond board or the organic certifiers. In other words there is no issue with any organic almond grower that warrants “mandatory” almond “pasteurization”. I believe these facts deserve to be stated in an affidavit of truth and submitted to the almond board, th FDA and all concerned parties with a notice that the affidavit will stand as the truth in law unless refuted point by point within a 30 day time frame.

Also in my letter to the almond board I asked for information about the true nature and legal effect of the “final rule” that was published in the Federal Register. Specifically I asked if the rule is “positive law that is directly applicable to all American growers …”. I did not get any reply to that!
I personally want absolute clarity on this point and feel that my basic due diligence is required so that I can have right understanding of this situation! I do not see a Constitutional power granted to the FDA whereby they can exercise lawful authority over the agricultural practices of California almond growers. However, I believe the commercial growers themselves are free to bind themselves to a self-imposed “agricultural” practice as it pleases them but that the organic growers do not have to volunteer into that! I’d like to do what I can to support and encourage the organic almond growers to speak-up and be heard on this issue! :D)

Please help me gain the full disclosure on the legal nature of this situation and especially to support full reservation of the Rights of the organic growers to preserve and defend what they have before it is compromised!


Chef Jem
Nutrition Therapy Chef

To whom it may concern,

Please do what ever you can, use whatever resources you have to fight the destruction of organic raw almonds. My family among so many other along and all the people of the future need to be able to eat food without poison on it.

Thank you,
Lynn Cheatham

Dear People at CCOF,

The alarming news about the new order for ‘pasteurizing’ almonds starting in September of this year has just reached me. This simply must not be allowed to happen.

The mainstream food market is already a dangerous gamble — one never knows what chemicals and toxins are at the dinner table. I try to be aware of exactly what my family eats. I buy organic food whenever possible, and stay away from genetically engineered food. It is harder to find and more expensive, but many people and families make this commitment. CCOF and other such entities make this possible, and we are so grateful they exist and trust and rely on them for the quality of our food.

Almonds are a great part of my family’s food intake, in particular organic, California grown, CCOF approved ones. I understand that the CCOF was not invited to participate in the discussions regarding this law — this is an outrage. I sincerely hope you are putting pressure forth to fight this ridiculous order. Please, get the word out there. If petitions are needed, I am sure many people will sign them. If other actions need to be taken, there will be plenty of support from people who do not like to eat propylene oxide for breakfast. However, the CCOF must be the entity to spearhead this battle and to win it, backed by the multitude of concerned consumers.

Please, fight. Call on us for support.

Thank you.

Boryana Alexandrova

Executive Director, CCOF:

Please mobilize whatever protest you can against the mandatory pasteurization of almands by the California Almond Board. The continuous attack on our health freedoms is frustrating, demoralizing, and incongruous with the principles of freedom on which our country was founded. I have studied nutrition on my own for 36 years. I practice what I could only have learned through my own study and experiences. What I can say about this issues is that the difference between consuming a raw almond butter and a roasted one is like night and day. The raw is very health promoting. The roasted is relatively worthless by comparison. Thank you. Please accept my good wishes for a fortunate outcome in this matter.

Russ Harvey, Florence, AZ.

To Whom It May Concern (the USDA, etc):

Once again big business is in cahoots with the government and not listening to public opinion. Requiring carcinagenic gassing or heating of raw almonds is not ok. If factory farms followed safer procedures like REAL organic farming (vs the sham that was passed as ‘organic’ certified recently), then salmonella and other organisms would not be an issue. Factory farming is ruining this country.

Do NOT vote in mandatory gassing or heating of almonds.

Act with integrity, not as puppets of big business, for once.

Miriam Kligerman

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am the owner of a Health Food Store located in San Jose, CA. I’m writing to you today to request that you protest the pasteurization of almonds or, at least, request a separate marketing order for organic almonds. We rely on raw almonds for our customers and want to continue buying our sources in California. If they are pasteurized, with their enzymes killed, we will not purchase them. We love Raw Almonds!


Judy Burnham
Beehive Health & Nutrition

I am passionately against the pasteurization of almonds. I have spent the better part of a year eating raw food to detoxify my body. I read labels religiously and only use certified raw (unprocessed, unheated, etc) organic food. This new law takes the choices away from consumers and smacks of “Big Brother”. Who are they to tell me what I can and cannot have? At the very least, it should be mandatory to disallow any product not live to be labeled raw. Thank you.

Christy Carl

Administrative Assistant

Christian Brothers Conference

Executive Director

As an local California organic foods consumer for 30 years, the recent pasteurization order from the California Almond Board is alarming, not just because of the impact on one my favorite staples, but also because of the impact on my freedom to choose what I consume in the market place. If this was an issue of some good being imported from a jungle where new viruses were emerging, there might be an argument for public health policy. But it sounds like special interests fleecing the public once again. I urge ccof to take a stand and confront this political matter.

Thank you
Paul Kelley

Ms. Mairs,

Here in Michigan I can’t grow almonds, but I eat them joyously for their good flavor and health benefits.

Please encourage CCOF to address this threat of pasturized almonds still to be labeled as “natural”. I fear the continued degradation of the purity of our food sources.

Suzanne Hoff

To: Peggy Miars,
Executive Director, California Certified Organic Farmers

Dear Ms.Miars,
As a consumer, I do not want corporate interests to take away my right to raw almonds, and I encourage you to do all in your power to reverse this threat to consumer freedom.  Surely a method of assuring safety–other than fumigating with toxic substances such as propylene oxide, and possibly even irradiation–can be found, particularly for organic products.

As a frequent consumer of raw, organic almonds, I fear I may have to begin purchasing almonds from other countries rather than subject my body to treated almonds.

Thank you in advance for your efforts on behalf of myself and other consumers.

Dr. Kathryn Bulver
Charleston, Illinois

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

In the U.S. we live in a fear based society so any idea – no matter how nefarious or insipid it may be – can be marketed and put into law and enforced. Another tactic is to introduce a law, behind closed doors and without public scrutiny, with the intent of keeping the public uniformed. History shows us that there’s nothing more “dangerous” to self-serving, corporate/private/government interests than a well informed citizenry. Since human beings have been farming and cultivating seeds, for thousands of years and in a sustainable way, it was always done organically and with much success. I would challenge anything grown by big agribusiness, which is either bio-engineered or saturated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, or both, to match the taste, texture and quality of organically grown produce and the quality of the soil grown by organic farmers. My grandparents had a small patch of land in their yard, about 12′ by 24′, where they grew a variety of vegetables. They composted and grew everything organically. The vegetables were sometimes imperfect in shape, size and color but the texture and flavors were superior to anything I’ve ever bought at the store…or been served at a restaurant. They not only yielded more than enough for themselves but had plenty to share with their neighbors and to put into storage…and all of this came from a small piece of land. So, when is enough going to be enough? Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate, unsuccessfully tried to require bio-engineered foods/GMO’s to be labeled as such but couldn’t compete with the well financed lobbies that opposed the labeling. Study after study showed that, overwhelmingly, people would choose the food or food product that wasn’t labeled over the one labeled as containing genetically modified organisms. To get around this, big agribusiness put the burden onto the consumer who is assuming the produce or food products they are buying are just that: wheat is wheat, corn is corn, tomatos are tomatos, potatos are potatos and nothing else spliced with it or created in a lab. It tells us a lot about the mindset of corporations (big agribusiness) where they can hijack the language and get away with calling foods grown in chemical pesticides and fertilizers or recently contaminated land as “organic” and this is currently happening. Who is the California Almond Board and what powers give them their alleged legitimacy? Who are the board members and what are their connections with those who will benefit from this mandate? The intent of the California Almond Board should be (glaringly) obvious as to why the CCOF was not invited to the hearings. It should also be obvious that the FDA is not serving the public interest by attempting to pervert the english language by renaming something to obfuscate the reality of what it actually is, i.e. “irradiation” becoming “pasteurization” because of the negative connotations associated with the “radiation” part of “irradiation”…and rightly so. I support the CCOF and the organic farmers who refuse to compromise what is right and just, for our freedom of choice and well-being of future generations.

Thank you,

Raymond Powell






Dear Ms Miars,

Please help the CCOF to protest against the pasteurization of almonds!My husband and I eat raw organic almonds every day, they are an important part of our life style.We will not buy pasteurized almonds labelled as “raw”.You are representing a lot people who are concerned about their health which is why we choose organic and raw foods.Please be the voice for us in this dilemma.

Thank you,

Nancy Lober, San Jose, Ca

Nature is the best healer. Why destroy the fundamental healing properties of almonds? Science is supposed to work with nature, not destroy it.

Mason Wright

Raw almonds are the most precious food – please please please preserve these natural beauties – pasteurization of these nuts is a shame and is not necessary – my family and i enjoy almonds every day – they are a staple in our home, humans are RAW !! – please do not America to destroy the natural nutrition of our almond. thank you – Erin Tucker

Immediate steps must be taken to address the recently published regulation requiring “treatment” of California almonds. Thousands — perhaps millions — of people rely on raw organic almonds precisely because they have not been treated in ways that change their intrinsic nature.

That some of these treated almonds have been able to germinate in no way demonstrates that there have not been changes in their intrinsic nature.

The raw community never had an adequate opportunity to be heard on this regulation first proposed by large California growers who were fearful that isolated outbreaks of salmonella would cause widespread damage to their markets. In fact, careful methods used by small organic growers did not appear to raise problems in this regard.

No one wants to be sick – but unfortuntely no one is keeping track of people who have enjoyed improvements in their health by means of a diet heavily weighted towards raw food. Surely there are other means — perhaps spot testing — that would satisfy both of these goals.

The regulation in question does not apply to almonds not from California. As a result, consumer efforts to obtain almnods from other sources could eventually work an extreme economic hardship on the small organic growers who have faithfully built their businesses and suppled raw organic almonds for many years.

To make matters worse, treated almonds can still be labeled as “raw.” So the consumer may not be getting what he or she is paying for.

Since not one comment was received from consumers during the public comment period for this regulation, it is obvious that the methods used to reach the raw-almond consuming public were grossly inadequate.

Hopefully the effective date of this regulation can be delayed indefinitly until means can be achieved by which those who wish to purchase truly raw organically grown almonds can do so.

Very truly yours,

Joan Levin

Every time we turn around, someone is trying to kill all that is good. I am getting so sick and tired of the manipulation tactics and the so-called BIG BROTHER of our day and age. What does it take to get these wise guys to see that they are poisoning our people and planet.. Good grief – God made a perfect planet and what makes them think that they can improve upon that. I pray that the Big Almond will fight this battle for us and succeed. Almonds are a part of our diet on a daily basis. It’s the only good snack left on this planet. Please, please, please get these “do gooders” to stop this attack on our food. It’s getting so I don’t even trust the word “organic” anymore

Leslie Ann Braun.

Dear Ms. Miars,

My children drink, and can tolerate, only almond milk. I do not think they deserve to be exposed to any more chemicals, especially in something so nutritious as the almond.

If we are living at a time when interested consumers can affect what the government dictates, then why can we not stop the unnecessary, and harmful, fumigation of nature’s food? Why do we not get the chance to ‘vote’ on this?

I cannot believe that someone can accept fumigation as a ‘good’ thing. After all, the very word conjures up images of killing. How can we be expected to put that negativity in our bodies and be
able to thrive?

I hope you can assist us in some way in order to stop this outrageous plan, or at the very least get someone to listen and understand our plight.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Christina Hanson


I hope that this letter actually helps us in this fight against those who would like to ruin this country’s health. I would like to see that we can somehow fight for the right to eat the things that we choose and that raw almonds mean just that, raw and untreated. This is our right as a “free” american country. At some point we need to gather ourselves together and put our health in our own hands and not in the hands of those with money who can pass laws about what we eat without our consent. Action is what we need, I’m not sure that sending letters upon letters will help.

Sheralun Chamberlain

To: Peggy Miars,
Executive Director, California Certified Organic Farmers

Dear Ms.Miars,

I urge you to take action in order to save raw almonds. As a consumer, I do not want corporate interests to take away my right to raw almonds. Raw almonds are a large part of my diet and others should continue to have access to nutritious, raw almonds, too. Making real raw almonds hard to get will result in the consumption of less nutritious, cooked almonds, sabtoaging the health of millions of people. Moreover, the use of propylene oxide is horrendous; the government should protect people from chemical exposure, not subject them to it. This attack on raw almonds is also an attack on the well-being of human bodies.

Furthermore, it is wrong for the California state government to order the “pastuerization” of the almond crop because of poor sanitation practices on the part of agribusinesses. The corporations who fail to have good sanitation practices should be punished, not the consumers. In addition, the government should not let corporations mislead consumers by labeling these fumigated almonds as raw.

For the sake of human beings all across the United States, I beg you to have the CCOF protest against this mandate. At the very least, there should be separate orders for organic almonds, although ideally the conventional almonds should not be fumigated either. I would be grateful for any actions that you take against this mandate.

Kasey Cox

I’m very upset about what is being done to our food with this new information on almonds. Please add my name to any list showing that I oppose this. I sprout my almonds before eating them so this will no longer be possible if they have been treated. I also choose to spend my money purchasing organic just so that I’m assured that they have not been treated so doing this will make it where there are no assurances when we pay more for “organic” if our food can still be treated and then labeled organic. Please fight this for us. I was looking forward to purchasing new almonds this fall and of course I’m a great fan of raw almond butter and would hate to have to drop this from my diet. If this is done to the almonds I will no longer eat almonds as I won’t eat them if they’ve been treated. If people stop buying almonds it will really impact the CA economy.


Ginny Skinner
Statham, GA

To: Miss Peggy Miars
Executive Director at CCOF

Ms. Miars I am writing this email in regards to the new regulations involving pasturization of almonds. It is my understanding that you are in a position to voice the concerns of us who are unable to do so. It seems that we, in a country built on freedom of choice, are watching that very freedom being chipped away at an ever increasing rate. We are losing the ability to choose the types of foods we wish to feed oursleves, our families, and how we choose to nourish them as well. We are asking that this new regulation be stopped before is implemented in September. I thank you for your time in considering our request for assistance in this matter.


Misty Merck

It seems quite simple. Raw means raw.
Any policy to hinder the production and distribution of fresh organic and raw products is a crime against our health and well being. Please speak on my and my families behave. I am a breast feeding mother and recognize that the largest recycling program in existance is the birth of beautiful babies. Our sacred resources air, water, and food are continually regenerated generation to generation. When did pure and simple become the lies and misinformation that we must wade through today? Continue your efforts. Thank you.


Bena Long
MindMovement, LLC


Please do whatever you can to contest the plans to allow almonds to be treated with poisonous chemicals and still labeled raw or even organic. I count on your organization to protect the food supply from illconceived plans such as these.

Many thanks for all you do, Laura

Dear Ms. Miars,

Please protest the ruling of the California Almond Board to fumigate all almonds, including organic almonds, beginning September 1, 2007 although they will be labeled “raw.”

Thank you very much!

Margarita Walters
Carlsbad, CA

To the Executive Director of CCOF:

This is a request that you mobilize to protest the March 30, 2007 California Almond Board order requiring that, beginning September 1, 2007, all almonds be fumigated either with steam or propylene oxide – and that these almonds will still permitted to be labeled as “raw”. At the least a separate marketing order for organic almonds should be demanded. Otherwise people like me, who eat raw and organic foods, will be forced to begin purchasing almonds from other countries! Thank you so much for your efforts! There is a large and rapidly-growing community rooting for you.


Grace Leppin
Chicago, Illinois 60601

No, no, no! You can’t kill our almonds! Do you know what happens when you plant a “dead” almond? Absolutely nothing! The same thing takes place in the human body–nothing, no life force left in the almond to move through us, to nourish us, it’s vitality murdered! What was once a glorious gift from Nature will soon be just another processed food.

Did you know that Louis Pasteur admitted in the end that the pasteurization of milk was a mistake? This is a HUGE mistake! If nothing else will stop you, think of the sales lost. A half-million raw-food vegans in this country eat almonds daily. Do the math.


Dear Ms. Miars:

I was quite alarmed to hear that almonds will be required to be pasteurized starting in September. I hope California Certified Organic Farmers are doing everything they can to stop the California Almond Board from mandating that all almonds be pasteurized. Consumers have the right to make their own choices regarding health and nutrition, and I will always choose raw and refuse “pasteurized.” There is a “Truth in Labeling Law” and we must see that it is applied to everything we eat. Fumigated or steamed, will not, cannot be passed off as raw. I will do all that I can to help you reverse this ruling. We cannot stand idly by and let the government ruin our health.

Thank you,
Susan Jorg
Estacada, Oregon

Dear Officials in California:

My family and friends support the efforts of Living Tree Community to secure proper labeling of food. We also support all efforts to prevent the forced degradation of food. If some group or company has the energy, foresight, and patience to grow food properly in accordance with the centuries old principles laid down by the laws of nature ­ let’s make sure that we all support them, and that no law persecutes those who go to these admirable lengths.

James Joseph

Dear Ms. Miars,

I’m writing to ask, really beg you to defend our rights to truly raw almonds. I feel that is is just another of our freedoms keep being chipped away in the name of Fear and Ignorance. Please help those of us who care about our health and freedom keep our ability to have a choice. Thanks so much for all your intercession on our behalf.

Lisa Brooks

I’m horrified.
I try to eat as large a percentage of my diet as I can solely on organically grown foods. I don’t want to have my body filled with chemicals and pesticides that are just liable to cause disease. Almonds fumigated with chemicals cannot be organic, and I would not even consider them raw. I’ve read that raw organic almonds are supposed to be by far the most healthy to eat and that is what I buy. This will make it impossible to buy healthy almonds grown here in the USA. And I agree that after tasting almonds grown in spain, I think our almonds grown here in the western USA are the best. Why are we ruining this wonderful crop?

We the people should have a say in this matter. I am strongly in favor of labeling all genetically engineere foods and I hope I’ve never bought any. Similarly I’m strongly opposed to destroying our organic almonds grown in the USA and I’ll gladly sign any petitions that will cancel this law that was simply thrust upon us.

Jacob Litoff
Millis, MA 02054

Thank you living tree for caring enough to stay on top… someone needs to with political correctness running rampant in the streets it would seem that everything should be on the table. irradiated food is just that and should be labeled as such. as an entire country becomes aware of these labels (pasteurization and irradiation) merging, and raw meaning practically nothing soon i wonder if the loss of revenues for the stock holders of corp. america will be affected when said country goes outside itself to purchase REAL FOOD elsewhere. maybe they should be the target for this insult to injury. and if organic food requires such labeling and regulation, and i’m glad to know what i’m eating then i want to know about genetically engineered food is labled as well. that way at least, as the consumer i get to choose healthy, life giving almonds today or pig gene induced tomato salad. i am the consumer and inquiring minds do want to know.

i say take it take it to the streets. when money is affected and enough loud voices “merge” mountains are moved. look what’s happened in the news over comments being made about just about anyone and even Rap is being questioned for it’s vulgarity. while this is, or was land of freedom of speech(and i take no sides) it just goes to show the power we have if used.

corporate america has already jumped on the green band wagon like never before so it’s, as they say in Hollywood THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS!

hope this helped. let me know if i can cook up anything else for you.
live long…and shop, organically, of course!

lance spangler

It is terrible to fumigate natural and organic almonds. Adding these chemicals is not a smart health decision. And, pasteurizing destroys the vitality, nutrition and enzymes if the almonds, as well as other foods. This has been proven by scientists including nobel prize winners.

If anything, people should have a choice and they should be labeled honestly instead if trying to hide the fact:

Raw Organic Almonds – and really mean organic and RAW Pasteurized Fumigated Almonds. If you are afraid of labeling the truth, you are instead promoting deception and lies.

Sincerely yours, Joseph Lucier

To: The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am very disappointed that there is a new regulation in California to strilize almonds including organic ones and allow the label to state that is “raw”. I urge you to mobilize a compaign to ask the Food and Drug Administration not to water down the organic standand. I also ask you to help keep the organic almonds from any type of “food irradiation” or “pasteurization.

Jo Tang

Almonds are a major part of my diet. I need my food to be truly natural,organic and raw. No longer having access to true raw almonds is a an affront to my health, my freedoms as a human being and an American citizen.

I respectfully urge you to engage your organization’s power to stop the universal pasteurization/fumigation order of the California almond board. Raw foodists depend on almonds as the premier nut in our diets. Our growing tribe of discerning consumers are loyal and dependable customers who will choose to stop eating almonds if you fail us. Our hopes and prayers are with you and all who are willing to stand up for safe and natural foods.

Jill J Taylor, RN, MN
The Taylor Group, Inc.

Please leave our raw almonds alone…We want our almonds raw and organic…we don’t want them pasturized and we don’t want them fumigated with carcenegenic chemicals.

Lisa Montgomery
royersford pa 19468

I have recently read of changes made by the California Almond Board regarding the “fumigation” of edible almonds.

I am writing in protest of this decision.

I choose to eat organic foods because I do not wish to consume foods that have been tampered with ~ ie – that have been fumigated, irradiated, or had pesticides utilized in the growing process.

I am objecting to this change and am insistent that I do not eat additives of this sort and also encourage others not to consume these types of foods via conversation and writings in my blog.

I would like to see this change not apply to foods in the organically grown area.

Thank you,
Stacye Mehard
Norfolk, VA 23507


When is this insanity going to stop??? When is the American public going to be afforded the decency to be informed about the pollutants and poisons in our food that “big industry” farms continue to sell to the public??? The desire to fumigate and pasteurize raw almonds is founded by a very sick organization whose sole motivation is nothing less than profit, gain and greed. Their motivation is not motivated by the general well being of the American public.

As a long time dairy consumer with skin allergies I have been enthralled to discover that by switching to raw, organic almond milk, made by hand in my own kitchen, that I have been able to eradicate this life long discomfort and irritation.

I am not interested in buying almonds from anywhere else other than those grown in my home state of California and I am certainly not interested in buying almonds that have been fumigated or pasteurized.

Please do whatever possible to stop this lunacy this distorted and mis-informed proposal.

If there are politicians we need to write to reverse this please let me know.

Dennis Cavallari

Hi Peggy,

Just read about the almond pasteurization & chemical treatment ruling.

Please work to make the labeling accurate & customer friendly. “Raw” should mean raw. Chemical treatment should definitely not be allowed on organic almonds.

I love almonds and would like to continue eating them.

Blackberry Community Farm

To whom it may concern,

I just recieved the disturbing news that almonds are now to be pasteurized and otherwise “treated” mandatorily. I currently rely on real “raw” almonds and almond butter for a large portion of my protein, but would seriously have to consider not buying any almonds at all if this is to happen. I prefer my food unaltered and in its most natural state, as I know a lot of other people do as well. The attemtps over the years of corporate agriculture to inundate the food crops with genetic engeineering, pastuerization, irradiating and toxic-bathing of food is not only altering otherwise wholesome food, but making this planet and everyone who eats these foods unhealthy and toxic.

I understand that you have the potential strength in clout and numbers to possibly reverse this new rule, and as a consumer and health advocate I humbly but urgently request that you please attemt to do so. Those that want to treat their almonds can go ahead and do so, but to make it mandatory for all is unjust and will creat a huge backlash in sluggish sales, as many in and out of the raw food movement rely on pure natural almonds.

Thank you in advance for anything you can do!!


Elisha Passafero

Dear Peggy,

I am an Associate Professor of Biology at an Eastern University and have conducted research on Biodynamic farming methods. I am concerned about the growing trend in the US to label processed food as “raw,” “natural,” or even “organic.” The latest step in the process seems to be the move to require that all almonds produced in California will have to be pasteurized beginning this year. While I understand the desire to protect the consumer’s health, it seems imprudent to me to require this measure across the board. I would greatly appreciate it if your organization could investigate the matter and take the appropriate steps to assure that raw, organic almost remain raw, and organic.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruce Kirchoff

Secretary Mike Johanns

United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave SW
Whitten Building – Suite 200A
Washington, D.C. 20250

7 CFR Part 981, Docket No. FV06-981-1FR

Dear Secretary Johanns,

I am normally a pretty calm person but this proposed rule has me completely outraged. NO, NO, NO. NO. NO. NO, NO, NO, – THIS MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!! I don’t normally swear and I won’t now either but I want you to know that I’m sparing you many words I’d like to say.

For the past 20 years, my husband, myself and our family strive to find and eat the most “ORGANIC” and “NATURAL” foods. Sadly these foods have dwindled severely over the years. We own and operate a small 100% ORGANIC Health Food Café, Juice Bar and Health Food Store in Florida. RAW FOODS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR BUSINESS. Our shelves are not full because I have such a diffucult time finding “REAL FOOD” that meets our standards – foods that I and my family would put in our bodies. Unlike some people, we won’t sell inferior, altered products. We only sell what I would eat myself. THIS IS A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS AND THIS RULE MAKES THINGS EVEN WORSE. I FEEL IT IS LIKE PUTTING SOME OF THE FINAL NAILS IN THE COFFIN.

I have spent the past 10 years compiling and publishing a RAW RECIPE BOOK and MY FAVORITE NUT IS ALMONDS. IF THIS RULE PASSES – THERE GO THE ALMONDS. I WILL NEVER BUY THEM. You may ask why I love Almonds so much. Almonds are high in protein and have all 8 amino acids necessary for them to be used in the body. ALMONDS ARE A COMPLETE PROTEIN WHEN RAW = NOT HEATED = PICKED AND EATEN IN THEIR NATURAL STATE. IF THIS LAW PASSES, THERE GOES MY RECIPE BOOK.

Income and overall health of hundreds of thousands of health conscious people is heavily impacted by this insane proposal not to mention the ORGANIC ALMOND GROWERS IN CALIFORNIA. How about we let some food be food and not be altered. RAW, ORGANIC FOOD IS IMPORTANT TO THE HEALTH OF OUR NATION. PLEASE HELP US STOP THIS RULE.

Yours in Knowledge, Health and Freedom,

Valorie Shillington
Organic Solutions

Dear Peggy Miars,

Please take strong leadership action to reverse the new regulation to sterilize ORGANIC almonds and let me know if there is anything I can do to help!!!

Most assuredly I won’t be buying any almonds until this is straightened out.

I would appreciate an update on the actions CCOF is taking on this crucially important issue. I’ll be spreading the word of this atrocity to as many people I can reach.

Thank you very much,

Simone Italia

Hello, Ms. Miars. I am writing to ask that you protest the mandate that all almonds be fumigated or steamed. I am shocked to hear about this ruling. I have been on an exclusively raw food diet for the last 7 years. Almonds have been a major part of my diet .

I am also a physician, who specializes in functional medicine. I know how important it is for people to avoid exposure to chemicals in their food, and eat organic food as much as possible. I do not understand how this could become law and remove the choice for people to eat organic, raw almonds. I will not be eating or buying any almonds from anyone if this is not overturned! I will also warn my patients about the almonds.

If there is anything you can do to prevent this, please act on all our behalf. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do, or anyone else I can contact.

Sincerely, Beverly Copeland, M.D.

Dear Peggy Miars,

I urge you to take strong leadership action to reverse the new regulation to sterilize ORGANIC almonds!!!

How can consumers trust and respect the organic label if such travesties are allowed???

I definately won’t be buying any almonds until this is straightened out! I would appreciate an update on the actions CCOF is taking to nip this in the bud!!!

best regards,

Bari Caine
Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader,
Reno, Nevada

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am very scared by the trend in our nation’s food suppliers toward treating our food with questionably safe chemicals or processes. For that reason, I eat almost entirely organic. I am concerned that organic almonds will be forced through the same pasteurization process as conventional, with the average consumer being none the wiser. I feel like if the organic community doesn’t take a stand, conventional practices will slowly creep into organic practices and one day “organic” won’t mean much at all any more. I sincerely hope you will use the political clout of the CCOF to exempt organic almonds from this law.


Jenny Warnasch

Mrs. Miars,
I just read the alert on almonds being pasteurized and it really concerns me. Having several health problems in the last couple of years; I have been trying to eat organic foods. Happily I could tell a difference, especially after I quit drinking diet colas and starting eating organic food. My health has improved and is still improving. Please use all the influence you have and don’t let our almonds be pasteurize. Please keep separate true organic foods and food that has been altered. I thank you in advance for all of your help.


Barbara Lynch

Dear Peggy,

I write this with a very sad heart, to hear of what is happening in our country with our food supply, and now with the most precious ALMOND. In my understanding, the almond is one of the most valuable foods in this world. A source of nourishment that is good for the body, and when soaked, becomes a living a easily digestable food for all people.

I would like to support you to do anything possible to turn this terrible law to fumigate our almonds around.

I thank you in advance for your efforts on the part of millions of Americans, who are wanting lives that are healthy, natural and alive.


Rhianne Dove

Dear Peggy,

I read Roger Haeske’s and Jesse Schwartz’ letters with distress

Every month seems to bring new horrors about the unhealthy way foods and nutrition are falsely presented to North Americans. We operate a holistic gym and wellness centre in Vancouver and are always presenting ways to our clients to eat more healthily – including therapies to reduce current toxins from their system. It’s distressing to hear how big business, whether as a pharmaceutical or food interest, works with the FDA purely from a profit motive and actively deceives the consumer – how can irradiation possibly be labelled as pasteurization! The processes are so completely different! The role of nuts as a healthy alternative for essential oils and proteins is critically important for a healthy diet. To limit many consumers to a deceptive process is unconscionable. We work with our clients to boost their immune systems. Everyone knows that a healthy immune system BENEFITS from a natural interaction with the environment, and can be hampered by too much interference or “protection”. Consumers should be given the choice of natural, irradiated or pasteurized foods, fully and clearly labelled. So many of us are fed up with governments making choices that consumers should make, claiming to protect consumers when they’re really protecting the profits of big corporations.

Please do something.

Thank you so much for the great work you’ve been doing.

Kurt Luzny
Weights Gym and Wellness Centre
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Mrs. Miars,

I am writing to request you do what ever it takes to keep clean organic “truly raw” food available for my family, my grand children and great grand children. Enjoying real food is vital to health, wholeness and happiness.

My family on both sides for generations have been and are still farmers and ranchers. With this in mind, I understand the challenges in our food production in today’s environment. Please use your influence to provide safe foods without killing the food item or our environment. In particular, I implore you to request the following procedure for almonds be stopped immediately:

On Friday, March 30th, the California Almond Board passed a mandatory almond pasteurization order. It requires that all almonds be pasteurized beginning September 1, 2007. This is an affront to the live food movement and an insult to organic farming.

It is all the more poignant that this is coming when an abundant new crop of California almonds is expected to be harvested in September. This, after several years of crop failures and a sharp increase in price. Instead of rejoicing with the new crop of almonds, what does Big Almond propose to do? It plans to fumigate them! The order requires thatall almonds be treated either with steam or propylene oxide, a toxic chemical. Almonds treated in this way are permitted to be labeled as “raw”.

Mrs. Miars, not only will the almond be labeled falsely, meaning calling cooked raw if the almond is pasteurized, we will lose all of the enzymes and healing nutrient values. Please work on solutions to bring truly raw almonds to the marketplace in a safe clean way without going to the drastic measures above.

I keep raw almonds on our kitchen counter always as a stop by snack…

Thank you for your help and influence with the FDA to keep safe, clean healthy foods in the marketplace with out killing them which will allow me to have the health of a raw almond in my diet…

Peggy Ploss


The best for you and yours!

Peggy J. Ploss
Realtor and Mortgage Banker
Real Estate Investments

Dear Ms. Miars,

I just read an e-mail informing me that all almonds, organic or not, will have to be pasteurized. Can this really be true? Please help those of us who are concerned about our health to be able to eat our almonds raw and organic. I am appalled that the Ca Almond Board is allowed to do this and I hope you will speak out in protest against this on behalf of us all.

Thank you for caring.

Leah Manuel

Dear Ms. Miars,

As a 100% raw foodist for more than 6 years, and the author of The Raw Food Gourmet (North Atlantic Books, 2005) I respectfully urge you to engage your organization’s power to stop the universal pasteurization/fumigation order of the California almond board. Raw foodists depend on almonds as the premier nut in our diets. Our growing tribe of discerning consumers are loyal and dependable customers who will choose to stop eating almonds if you fail us. Our hopes and prayers are with you and all who are willing to stand up for safe and natural foods.

Gabrielle Chavez

Executive Director CCOF
Dear Ms. Miars,

As a Doctor of Chiropractic who lives by and encourages a healthy diet which includes a large percent of raw living foods as part of our total health quotient and as a California Consumer, i was horrified to find out about the Almond Board decision to pasteurize all almonds beginning in September 2007. i urge you to please help the CCOF to mobilize a protest against the pasteurization of almonds in this state. At the very least, i pray that the CCOF has the political clout to request that organic almonds be addressed separately. It seems so unreasonable that the CCOF was not even invited to a hearing before the mandate became law, as it will affect such a large number of growers in this state and subsequently their livelihood. i feel disheartened that the Bureaucracy has found another way to intervene in what i believe was meant to be our Divine Right as Humans to unadulterated fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. i truly hope that Californians and others seeking raw almonds will not have to face their proposed demise. All the best to you in your efforts on behalf of our organic almond farmers and almond consumers alike.

Dr. Susan Ocopnick


I am writing to plead with you to make available the non-fumigated, non-pasteurized almonds in some manner to the public. I understand that soon all almonds will be fumigated or pasteurized. Please, please is there some way that a separate group could be left in their most natural, organic state? I rely on your almonds as a daily part of my protein and other good things intake and I really hope that something can be done to keep them organic and not sprayed, fumigated or pasteurized. I love them they way they are and cannot bear to think they will not be the way I have had them for 35 plus years now.

If you must, for some reason, pasteurize some, I really hope that you will leave a significant part of your crops un-pasteurized and label them as such. It is so important to me. I want California Almonds and don’t want to have to go to the expense and bother to try to find other organic and unpasteurized almonds from some out of the country importer. Please consider this from a very loyal almond eater.

Thank you so much,
Lois Brady

Dear Peggy,

At 82 years of age I have been witnessing the encroachment of Agri-Business and chemical giants into the health standards maintained by organic farmers. Now they want to pasteurize almonds. What next before the population rises up and reverses these HARMFUL measures? I will support you and CCOF in any way to STOP and REVERSE this dangerous trend. We must act NOW, PLEASE!!!

Thank you.

John Delevoryas
Professor Emeritus, San Jose State University

Peggy Miars

I just learned of the California Almond Board’s mandate to steam and/or treat all almonds.I wish I could completely convey how sad this makes me feel. As I try to make healthier choices for myself and my family, I am challenged over and over again by policies laid down “for our benefit”.

I live in Portland, OR. A few years back… after the Odwalla scare. The government issued a mandatory pasteurization of all juices. Not only did Odwalla start pasteurizing and then sell to CocaCola, a small local company named Genesis was forced to comply. I’m not even a raw foodist, yet it was a tremendous loss for us. These types of decisions do prove to be a huge loss to all of us. It’s a loss of a healthful, quality foods; a loss of choice; a loss of a wonderful, ethical, companies; and a gain for the bigger interests.

While I want to believe we have the freedom to choose what’s best for us, I’m losing that hope. How does it make sense that we can choose to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or consumes large quantities of sugar; yet we cannot choose to have an almond unadulterated?

We use raw almonds several times a week at our house. I — we — don’t want to give this up.

If there is anything you can do to stop this, please please help. I appeal to the CCOF to protest this decision with whatever resources or clout you have available.

Sincerely and with appreciation for your efforts,

Paula Belcher

Dear Peggy,

I am writing to state my dismay at the prospect of the end of the commercial line for truly untreated almonds. This is a centralized effort trying to enforce one rule over all. This alone is demonstratedly, time and again, ineffective to preposterous. It is also an assault on organic growers and consumers who care deeply for their work and food, and grow feelings of sacredness toward the earth and all of its fruit. I urge you please, with your immense power, to promote the continued sanctity and magic of the fruits of the earth and the plants that grow them. Thank you. You have my support and my deepest appreciation.

Douglas Subbiondo

Hello Ms. Miars,

I understand you have the ability to protest the new mandatory almond pasteurization order passed by the California Almond Board. Please note that almonds will not be raw or organic. Please do what you can to overturn this for raw almonds. Apparently 76 of your organic growers grow and sell raw almonds, they will lose a large part of their livelihood.

Thank you for your efforts.


Dan Blanchard

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am writing to urge you to protest the new regulations regarding pasteurization of almonds. My family eats raw, organic almonds everyday due to its nutritious value and taste. Pasteurization of almonds will either add chemical residues or destroy many of the key nutrients in almonds and create free radicals that cause disease in humans. I will not buy pasteurized almonds, and I have no idea how I will replace this staple in our diet. My children are allergic to milk, so we use almonds as a replacement.

Please do whatever possible to stop this terrible assault to our food supply and freedom of information rights.

Mara Kalish

Dear Ms. Miars,

It is my understanding that, as of September 2007, all almonds in California will be required to be pasteurized using either by a steam process or by using propylene oxide, a toxic chemical. We are counting on you to mobilize a protest to this assault on the almond, a most nutritious food when consumed raw.

I realize that this is one of many attacks on our freedom to consume raw, organic, nutrient-dense foods. We have always counted on you to defend our freedom to have access to nutritious, organic foods, and I am hoping we can count on you again to protest this pasteurization order of the California Almond Board.


Elaine Zacher
Lafayette, CA

Dear Peggy Miars, Executive Director of CCOF,

I’m outraged to hear that all almonds will be pasteurized and fumigated! Raw organic almonds are a substantial part of my diet that I count on for a clean health source of protein and fat. I’m also frightened by what this mandate means for organic standards in general and urge your organization to stand up and fight this. Thank you for all your good work.

Lysa Castro

Dear Peggy…

I have been really frustrated about the fact that Almonds, BUT most of all Raw Organic Almonds are going to be either fumigated with a toxic chemical or Steamed at a very high heat for no good reason. I eat quite a large amount of RAW almonds every week and I do this mainly for the health benefits. If the mandatory law goes into effect in September I will no longer buy almonds because they will no longer be raw by any logical standard I know of. Our government continues to frankenstein our food and we are lucky enough to know about some of it some of the time. If things continue this way the government will be able to do whatever they want and hide it just like they are planning to do with the almonds by labeling pasteurized almonds RAW. My only other option is to grow an almond tree. I really do not know if that is feasible for me currently, BUT that will be my only alternative and that is really sad because it just might not be possible.

What scares me the most are the statistics….. I read that California almonds make up 80% of the world’s consumption and close to 100% of US consumption. Basically the government is taking away our right and the world’s right to choose all together.

I just hope that there is some way that you and your organization can stop them. I have signed the Almond petition and e-mailed the Governor of California. I wanted to do my part to try and stop this madness.

I would appreciate your intervention greatly. I know that you have the power to let almonds stay the way they should be… Organic and REALLY raw.

Thank you for your time.


Stephanie Schiff
Los Angeles, California

Dear Ms. Miars,

As you know, the USDA and the California Almond Board have conspired to eliminate 100% raw almonds from the marketplace. This is something that the natural health and food industry must work vigorously to prevent.

Raw, natural food as it grows from the Earth is our most inalienable birthright. I respectfully request that the CCOF find a means to become involved with the preservation of an abundant supply of raw, organic, fresh, whole, ripe almonds for our health and the future of our species.

Warmest regards,

Keith Pilotti
San Diego, CA

Hi Peggy,

I’ve just learned of the California Almond Board’s ridiculously stupid idea of fumigating organic almonds. For starters, they should test their fumigation on themselves first, and see if it’s healthy.

Please, launch a campaign against this display of outrageous ignorance! This charge from the CAB is more than likely coming from one of the biggest proponents of genetically modified foods, Monsanto. Let’s stop these dumb clucks!

At the very, very, least people should have the choice of poison vs. organic. Corporations and government are getting dumber and richer by the minute.

Is there another planet like this one?

Let’s get all the health food stores set up with petitions, and get email campaigns going.

John Walsh

Dear Peggy,

I am deeply concerned to learn that raw almonds are going to be subjected to fumigation practices, yet still labeled “raw.” For those of us who have chosen to take our health into your own hands, and to be responsible by feeding our bodies foods that heal and encourage health, this news is deeply troubling. It appears to be just another step the government and big business is taking towards leaving the consumer with fewer choices and misinformation. What can I do to help?!? It is critical we take action and I am willing to do my part. Please, let me know what organizations I should contact, and to whom I should address my concerns.


Jeanette L. Krull

Dear Ms. Peggy Miars, Executive Director, CCOF

Please mobilize an action to protect the organic, raw and unfumigated quality of the almonds and natural foods available in California. Please speak out and gather forces to uphold organic standards. At very least, we require a separate marketing order for organic almonds – in response to recent FDA proposals.

Additionally, the recent announcement by the FDA that propose to label irradiated foods “pasteurized” and the ongoing policy of allowing GMO foods to go entirely unlabeled represent business not consumer interests. Consumer demand shows reason to accurately label and protect our food supply – not the marketable shelf life – but the quality and nutritional value of the food we are eating.

Thank you for representing these interests.


Shawnee Undell

Hi Peggy,

I am writing to ask gratefully and consciously that you mobilize against the mandatory pasteurization of raw almonds. For raw food eaters such as myself this feels like an unwarranted decision on the part of the California Food board, as it will absolutely eliminate that food from our diets.

In addition, for people who are lactose intolerant and or have degenerative diseases, and rely on almonds or almond milk for a source of protein (I know at least two cancer sufferers who use almonds and almond milk from soaked raw almonds regularly), this decision deprives them from the healthiest, most natural food source for this protein.

I personally have liver and gall bladder problems and switched to a raw food diet to remedy this–it has worked well. Eating living sprouted foods has been an incredible aid to me as a source of protein, and almonds are a huge part of this.

I don’t understand how the California Almond Board could deprive us of the choice as to whether or not we can have truly raw almonds as part of our diet. Surely there must be alternatives to fumigating or steaming all almonds.

At the very least a distinction should be made for raw organic almonds. Please lobby for a separate marketing order for those almonds. Labeling should take care of any problems, and give consumers the choice of what product they want to buy, as it is done with milk and cheese.

I beg you to consider this seriously and make a stand. It is important that we continue to value consumer choice and the ability to get the freshest foods possible.

Thank you for your time.

Best regards,

Danica Radovanov

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am writing to you for assistance with the almond pasturization mandate that is to go into effect this Fall.

I have the utmost respect for organizations like the CCOF because they strive to protect the integrity of the foods we eat and preserve the land this food is grown upon.

I am greatly disturbed by this mandate especially since the FDA and the USDA have approved propylene oxide as a fumigation method for this pasturization process.

I am strongly opposed to this draconian, short sighted mandate and am hopeful that can be repealed.

Though I think each person who is opposed to the mandate needs to express their concerns/opinions, I believe the CCOF will have greater impact upon the industry. I ask that the CCOF take action to prevent this terrible thing from happening.

Kathleen Martin

Dear Peggy Miars,

Please mobilize to protest the California Almond Board’s recent mandatory almond pasteurization order. I want to be able to buy pure organic almonds and almond milk! It is my right, otherwise all the goodness will be pasteurized out of them and won’t be nourishing my body, I’m not ok with that please do the best you can,

Thank you,

Malcolm Jackson

Hi Peggy,

This pasteurization idea is just dumb. Far more is lost from the food value destroyed by pasteurization than is gained by perhaps killing a few bacteria that should be harmless anyway.

This is more bad science, driven by ignorance of basic principles of health creation and maintenance.

I know of what I speak. I am MENSA qualified, have a Chemical Engineering degree, have been a raw fooder for 5 years, and Marathon in the top 25% of finishers at 42 years of age on minimal training.

My household typically consumes about 25 pounds of almonds a year, but will not purchase cooked almonds.

Please help us preserve a tiny bit of this one small freedom from the shrinking pool that we have…

To your health!,


To Peggy Miars,
Please know that I am outraged at the mandatory pasteurization of almonds and look forward to the retraction of this mandate.

Steven King

Dear Peggy Miars,

I’m told that the California Almond Board has passed a mandatory almond pasteurization order last Friday, March 30th, which means that all almonds must be pasteurized as of September this year. This would mean I could no longer eat almonds, as I strongly believe in eating my food unadulterated in any way. Pasteurized foods are not in my diet at all. I do love almonds, so I would very much like to see the option kept open for people to eat almonds in their natural raw state, without any tampering.
I trust that you, as Executive Director of CCOF, can represent my voice in this matter and that you keep in mind that there are many other people like me who want to keep the choice of eating almonds, or any food for that matter, in the most natural, truly raw state.
Thank you for your time and for your efforts to keep our freedom of choice.

Esther van der Werf,
Joshua Tree, CA

I urge you to mobilize to the fullest extant possible to protest the plan in California that would eliminate raw almonds (by pasteurizing them and still labeling them as “raw”). aw almonds are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, Are we going to have to import them from other countries?

Robert Blau
6948 N.Ashland
Chicago IL 60626

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am writing to express my concern about the pasturization of almonds in the state of California. As an individual who values the benefits of raw and living foods in my diet, I appreciate the ease of finding and purchasing raw organic California almonds here in Canada. I would love to see this pasturization order challenged by someone who is in a position to make a difference.

Thank you for your time,

Kristen Deloughery
Pender Island, BC


Please mobilize and protest to leave almonds raw. There is so much government interference in the things already that Americans do and eat. Let’s take a stand to leave almonds in their most natural state.

Best regards,

Virginia Pennell

Dear Ms. Miars:

I hope with all my heart that by now California Certified Organic Farmers is doing everything it can to stop the California Almond Board from mandating that all almonds be pasteurized. If this action has not yet begun, I urge you to intervene on behalf of the California organic farmers and those of us who trust and rely on them.

We are a raw food family. We buy exclusively organic produce – primarily California organic produce. Heating almonds causes the fat in the almonds to change – it no longer is a healthy source of fats – in fact it is toxic. If the Almond Board prevails on this matter, then the growing raw food community will no longer buy organic almonds.

We love almonds and are already saddened by the problems faced by organic almond farmers because of the loss of honey bees. Now, I am afraid that the market for organic almonds will be vastly diminished.

As you know, those of us who buy organic produce do so with every intention of obtaining the healthiest food for our family and for the earth. Organic almond farmers will lose considerable income when consumers realize that they are being lied to because the “raw” almonds are really pasteurized.

So, please use your resources to represent the California Certified Organic Farmers and change the Almond Board’s plans to pasteurize all almonds grown in California.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Caroline Coulston

Hello Everyone,

As promised, the Cornucopia Institute has been working on a press release and an action alert for consumers to protest the mandatory pasteurization of almonds rule. Attached is the press release, with information at the bottom on how to take action. We encourage everyone to spread the news widely, and take the time to write Secretary of Agriculture Johanns.

Thanks in advance for taking action!


April 6, 2007

Contact: Mark Kastel, 608-625-2042
USDA and Agribusiness Conspire to Mislead Consumers

” Raw” Almonds Must Soon be Steam-Heated or Treated with Toxic Chemical

CORNUCOPIA, WI: Small-scale farmers, retailers, and consumers are outraged over a new federal regulation that will require all almonds grown in California to be sterilized with various “pasteurization” techniques. The rule, which the USDA quietly developed in response to outbreaks of Salmonella in 2001 and 2004, traced to raw almonds, mandates that all almonds undergo a sterilization process that includes chemical and/or high-temperature treatments.

Although the final rule was just published in the Federal Register, The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group, is asking the USDA to reopen the proceeding for public comment. Cornucopia contends that the rule was never effectively announced to the public, and that the reasoning behind both the necessity and safety of the sterilization processes should be questioned before the rule goes into effect this September.

“The new rule is unwarranted and could have many harmful impacts,” said Mark Kastel, senior farm policy analyst at Cornucopia. “The costs of the chemical and heat treatments, in addition to the costs of transporting and recording the new procedures, will be especially onerous on small-scale and organic farmers, and could force many out of business.”

The only exemption to these new regulations will be organic “raw” almonds that will not be fumigated, but will undergo the steam-heat treatment, and small-scale growers who can sell truly raw almonds but only direct to the public from farm stands.

Although foodborne illnesses have garnered headlines in recent years, including contamination of California-grown spinach and lettuce, raw produce and nuts are not inherently risky foods. Contamination occurs when livestock manure or fecal matter is inadvertently transferred to food through contaminated water, soil, or transportation and handling equipment. Raw foods can also be infected by poor employee sanitation either on the farm or in processing facilities.

Glenn Anderson, a small-scale organic almond farmer in the central valley of California, worries that “This could be one more way for the big companies and the government to put us small farmers out of business.”

The equipment to sterilize almonds is very expensive. A propylene oxide chamber costs $500,000 to $1,250,000, and a roasting line can cost as much as $1,500,000 to $2,500,000.

Anderson also questions the scientific logic behind the rule. He and some other growers believe that the sustainable farming methods they use, such as mowing and mulching, rather than controlling weeds by chemical herbicide applications, protect biodiversity and naturally prevent the spread of harmful bacteria more effectively than the artificial process of pasteurization (sterilization)‹which attempts to mitigate contamination after the fact. According to growers practicing sustainable farming methods, the USDA plan ignores the root causes of food contamination‹the dangerous and unsustainable farming practices on industrial farms.

Consumers who oppose the new regulation also worry about its impact on the quality and nutrition of pasteurized almonds, since the Almond Board of California (a marketing arm of the USDA) has conducted the only study on the practice. Their research concluded that “there was no significant degradation in the quality” of the almonds. “The validity of these findings is questionable given the vested interests of the research panel,” Kastel stated.

The most common method of sterilizing almonds is by propylene oxide fumigation. Propylene oxide is a genotoxic chemical and is listed as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency on Cancer Research. In lab experiments, the chemical leads to gene mutation, DNA strand breaks, and neoplastic cell transformation. It is listed as a “possible” carcinogen because no long-term studies have been done with humans. Its use for treating food for human consumption is banned in the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and most other countries.

It is The Cornucopia Institute’s contention that even if independent research concludes that treated almonds are in fact safe, labeling them as “raw” is misleading and deceptive to consumers, many of whom wish to purchase truly raw, unprocessed almonds. “Raw foods are increasingly in demand. The new rule is another case of the public being deprived the opportunity to intelligently choose their food supply,” said Jimbo Someck, who owns and operates four of the country’s leading independent natural food stores, in the San Diego area.

The new regulation to sterilize almonds coincides with the recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that it intends to relax its labeling requirements for irradiated food. The FDA proposal will also allow irradiation, the controversial ionization process, to be called pasteurization‹a reference that is troubling many food safety watchdogs.

“Consumers deserve to know how their food has been processed,” said Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Mislabeling irradiated food as ‘pasteurized’ or treated food as ‘raw’ is an industry attempt to make consumers buy products that they otherwise might avoid.”

In light of heightened public concern, the Cornucopia Institute has appealed to USDA Secretary Mike Johannes to postpone implementation of the new regulatory requirements and reopen the almond docket to public comment. Only 18 public comments‹all from the almond industry‹were received on the proposal. Unlike consumers, retailers, or other organizations concerned with food safety, all almond handlers received a personal letter or fax from the USDA alerting them to the sterilization proposal and inviting them to comment.

“The industry and the USDA tried to slip this through quietly, under the radar, without adequate public scrutiny,” Cornucopia’s Kastel lamented. “We are asking the Secretary of a unit of government that Abraham Lincoln referred to as the ‘ People’s Department’ to intervene so concerned citizens can have a say. The close collaboration, away from the eyes of the citizens and the media, we are sure, is not something the Secretary will feel good about.”

An action alert with instructions for contacting the USDA, and a sample letter interested consumers can send to the USDA and California Almond Board, can be found on the Cornucopia Institute Website:


MORE: According to Andrew Kimbrell, the Director of the Center for Food Safety, “The decision to foist fumigants on unsuspecting almond consumers is just another example of an agency out of control.” Adds Kimbrell, “USDA is being run lock, stock, and barrel by agribusiness and has abandoned its duty to protect the public and the farming community. This USDA decision, along with FDA’s long-standing refusal to label genetically engineered food, and its recent decision to attempt to label irradiated foods as “pasteurized,” is a conscious effort by the Administration to leave consumers in the dark about the dangers lurking in their food.”

FDA regulations currently require that all single-ingredient foods that have been irradiated and are sold by retailers must be labeled as “treated with irradiation” and must display the radura symbol.

A comprehensive fact sheet on the almond issue can be viewed at and a sample letter for interested individuals to send to the USDA can be found at .

The Cornucopia Institute is dedicated to the fight for economic justice for the family-scale farming community. Through research, advocacy, and economic development, our goal is to empower farmers both politically and through marketplace initiatives.

Mark A. Kastel
The Cornucopia Institute
608-625-2042 Voice
866-861-2214 Fax

P.O. Box 126
Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827

HI, Jesse!

I have been reading that California passed some bill, I think, requiring almonds to be pasteurized!!! I am wondering if you will still be able to import raw ones that you can sell. If not, can you think of a way to get them? I haven’t run out yet but am concerned. Thanks!

Susan Schenck

Dear Ms. Miars,

My name is Robert Rowen. I am a holistic licensed medical doctor in California and write a large national newsletter on alternative healing. My wife, Terri Su, MD likewise is a holistic physician. We are both raw food organic vegetarians. We are appalled that the California authorities would mandate pasteurization of almonds. Raw almonds are a major health food and staple of our diet. Heat destroys the living enzymes, vitamins, and fatty acids within the nut. We are told to be conscious and eat the right kinds of fats by government, which at the same time is denying us access to the healthiest choices. Furthermore, it is my understanding that the ruling was made because of two cases of salmonella. That being the case, why has there not been an order to pressure cook all spinach which was responsible for an E. Coli outbreak, or deny raw vegetables altogether, since they can carry disease causing organisms. California still allows the sale of raw milk. How can one justify condoning the sale of raw milk, a culture medium for Tb like bacteria, and not almonds? (I am not advocating removal of raw milk. I am just drawing analogy).

Truly this ruling has been made by those ignorant of good diet practices. My wife and I urge you to do whatever you can to reverse this situation. I certainly would make myself available to assist in any appropriate professional manner or forum.

Robert Jay Rowen, MD

Ms. Peggy Miars, Executive Director, CCOF,

Please mobilize and protest the mandatory almond pasteurization order. This is a gross insult to the live food movement and to California organic farmers.

My parents and grandparents, brothers and sister, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews have nearly all suffered thru ailments I attribute to poor food choice and lack of exercise. These ailments include cancers of the skin, prostrate, bone and breast, and also thyroid enlargement, carpal tunnel syndrome and others. Five of my family members died prematurely. The others have underwent surgery and live in fear.
Whereas, since I began eating raw foods at fourteen years young, and practiced periodic raw food cleanses, I have never suffered from the ailments afflicting 80% of my extended family, and have had no signs of cancers what so ever.

Further, while practicing an all or mostly raw food diet, I am never afflicted with allergies, inflammations, headache, joint pain or fatigue. In fact, I am on my fifth attempt to become 100% raw foodist. But every time I return to a “cooked” diet, the allergies, inflammations, headache, joint pain or fatigue returns, like clock work!

It breaks my heart and abuses my intelligence to tolerate the demise of properly grown and nourished plants and orchards.

I absolutely depend on high quality raw foods, and find it my spirit path to God, and raw foodism a guiding light in preserving our planet earth.

I feel strongly, that macro/micro economic polices be based firstly on the appropriation and stewardship of properly governed raw foods and lands, including the education of the public.

Please support locally grown produce, and support a plant based diet for our planet (example, eat meat only once in seven days, instead of every day).

Best Regards,


Larry Sarver
58 years young, Long Beach, CA

Dear Peggy,

As a concerned health practitioner, I would like to simply express my disgust, which I’m sure you share, regarding the decision on pasterizing raw almonds.

I don’t need to tell you of the ramifications such a process would have on nutrient content.

Does this mean the eventual process would be extended to all nuts? I pray not.

Please take it upon yourself and all who you are associated with, to do all you can to reverse and change the situation at hand.

Thank you in advance. Your involvement is well-appreciated

Ezio Garritano
The Wellness Shoppe/Manager

To:Peggy Miars,
Executive Director, California Certified Organic Farmers

Dear Ms Miars,

I have recently heard about the mandate passed by the California Almond Board to pasteurize all almonds, and also to falsely label them as raw!

This has shocked and saddened me deeply, for many reasons. This is both an erosion of our freedom and of our individual right to choose the healthiest foods possible. Raw almonds (or raw anything else!) is not the same as cooked. To take away our access to raw almonds, a mainstay of the health, organic and raw food movements is unthinkable. To blatantly lie to the public about this by labelling them as such is unconscionable!

As someone who has the power, the heart and the integrity to mobilize and protest this, I ask you to please do everything in your power to contest this now. I know that many of us will be sending our energy and light in order for this situation to be resolved. Thank you for your help!


Deborah Detwiler
135 Twinflower Way,
Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8k 1R4

Dear Peggy,

As an organic, raw food consumer, I hope that you will do all that you can to prevent the almond pasteurization requirement from going into effect. After I heard about the new ruling, I decided to stop buying almonds altogether. I know I won’t be the only one taking a strict no-more-almonds position and that can’t possibly be good for the almond business. Maybe if you present that point, it will tip the scales in our favor.

Interesting to note is that the local sources where I normally buy almonds and almond butter have increased their almond prices by almost 50% to capitalize on the rush to buy raw almonds before September 1, 2007. Shameful but predictable.

Thank you for all you do,

Deirdre Braddock

I am shocked to learn that it is mandatory that Almonds are to be pasteurized. I am shocked and appalled that this can take place without any consensus from the public. There is no reason for this unnecessary process. If there is a concern about almonds make the public aware without killing the nutrients in Almonds. By pasteurizing Almonds without warning consumers are not given a choice. This is wholly objectionable. As a raw foodist I eat all of my food without heating them beyond 108 degrees. By pasteurizing all almonds this leaving me without a key component to my diet and to my health. Please help protest the is unnecessary process. There are many who share my sentiment and ask that the Almond Board reverse this decision. Whatever assistance you can provide in keeping almonds raw I would greatly appreciate.

Thank you,

Ellyn N. Gray

Dear Peggy,

It was with great regret that I read that the almond growers in the US plan to pasteurize their crop. This means I will have to order almonds from other countries as pasteurization changes the enzymatic nourishment/vitality of the foodŠ.which obviously is why health conscious individuals cherish almonds as a nutritional powerhouse. It is a sham to call a food that is process “raw” and unfortunate that this action has been sanctioned without widespread disclosure to the consumer public.

Jane Seligson, Los Altos, CA

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am deeply troubled about the plight of the raw almond as of September 1, 2007. Pasteurized almonds are not the same as raw almonds plucked from the tree just as pasteurized milk is not the same as raw milk straight from the cow. Raw is more alive and healthful.

True there were two scares of salmonella in 2001 and 2004 which is said to be the reason for doing this horrible thing. So clean up this one area, please don’t sacrifice all the almonds.

Also, I think it’s a crime to not label these almonds as pasteurized when that’s what they are. Let the consumers choose what they want to buy. It’s not fair to consumers that they pay for something that they aren’t really getting. If you thought you were getting a product and found out later that you paid for something you hadn’t gotten, you would be pretty upset, too.

I hope you will yell out loudly in protest. We are all depending on you.

Very sincerely,

Suzanne Stapler

Dear Ms. Miars,

I am writing you to express my concern about the mandatory almond pasteurization order that will go into effect in September 2007. As a health and wellness coach, I teach my clients the importance of eating organic raw foods, foods that contain live enzymes. Many studies show that live enzymes are no only the key to life, but they are the key to be leading a healthy life. The only thing that separates us from the people in the morgue are the live enzymes.

Almonds are a essential part of the raw food lifestyle as they contain an incredible amount of nutrition in a very small package. As I am sure you know raw almonds are not only an excellent source of nutrition by themselves they are also used in making raw almond “milk” and almond “butter”, both items that are used daily by people that rely on nutrition from a whole food – plant based diet. By pasteurizing the almonds all the live enzymes are killed off making the almond a dead food, and making it useless as a nutritional source.

As it stands today, it is difficult to find organic raw nuts that have not been pasteurized. I rely on mail order from companies like Living Tree Community Foods as a source for raw nuts and especially almonds for myself as well as my clients. This mandate to pasteurize almonds goes against life. We as human beings where meant to eat “live” foods. This mandate does not make any sense at all.

Please, to the extent of your ability protest this mandate. We need to all stand together to uphold what is right, this is one very important item that needs to be addressed.

Thank you for your time and efforts addressing this matter.


Greg Hawn
180 degrees to health

Hello Peggy,

I am sitting here enjoying my Living Tree Community Organic Raw Almond Butter and I just found out that the CA Almond board passed a pasteurization order. Please help contest it and let us know what we can do to contest it. No raw almonds? What is this crazy world coming to?

Thank you very much,

Teresa Van Doren
Los Osos, CA

Hello Peggy.

I was quite alarmed to hear that almonds will be required to be pasteurized starting September. I eat a lot of raw almonds and know that they have much more nutritive value than cooked ones. I understand that they have reasons for wanting them to be pasteurized, but feel strongly that this should not be mandatory. Raw almonds are simply not a big health threat. I do hope that you can do something about this.

Thank you for your time.
John Alcheman