#1: Know where the product came from.
#2 Write the company and ask them how it was washed, dried, and packed. Was it bottled in the country it came from or was it bottled in the US by an approved lab?
#3 Was the product tested for E-Coli, bacteria, and contamination before packaging.
#4 Does the product smell funny, have debre in it, taste odd, taste strange for how Moringa should taste, or is brown instead of green? You must have experience with Moringa powder to answer the above questions. Moringa does have its own unique smell and taste. If you have never taken it, how would you know?
A good example of this is that rice has been found recently to be contaminated with arsenic, especially brown rice. The arsenic was in the soil and the rice takes the heavy metal into it.
Here are the procedures and issues when bulk product is imported into the United States. A reader wrote me this morning asking me if the the company she bought her Moringa from was ok. This was my answer to her below:
After my problems with India stuff including organic certified, I just don't deal with any of it. Unless it is tested for E-coli and contamination before it is bottled as mine will be, there is no way to tell which batch is ok and which is not. When companies are getting Moringa powder and products from different producers and countries at any given time, there is no real ability to check things out. They buy tons of bulk material if they are a big outfit. One company has distributors all over the world. You want me to believe, they have visited all the companies who sell to them. You want me to believe that all their product is grown and dried properly? They have no idea. Any operation that big, cannot know. They may visit their biggest suppliers once or twice a year but often never. Freshness is also a question. I know that is some cases the product is 6 months to a year old. They have to have a large stock on hand to ensure they don't run out of product when selling millions of bottles a year. Think folks...do not just believe what you hear. Ask logical questions and then examine the information.....question again what is rational in some of this.
Any batch of product both here and overseas can be contaminated. It is happening with food here all the time such as the recent peanut butter recall, steroid contamination, and so.....any food product can be bad. Most of it from India is not tested before it is brought in.
Isn't it tested by the customs when entering into the US?
The customs and FDA only get involved if the paperwork is questionable; if the labels are misbranded; if the packaging does not meet their standards; if the company has a bad or questionable record; or if the country like China and others who are known to send contaminated product often.
So if all of the above looks good, the product is never examined or tested by the FDA or customs. There is so much food coming through into the US, that only a small percentage is checked. This applies to fish, herbs, and all food. There are not enough customs agents to check every product. If they did that, it was take months for products to be passed.
In my case, the product label was wrong coming from India and the packaging not good, so they held it for intensive examination......by a lab. That showed the organic certified stuff was severely contaminated. Had they not done that, I would have sold product that was not good. That is why I do not hold much respect for organic certified in many cases....but especially from India.
Most companies have no idea what they are buying as far as quality. Color and taste are only two criteria. E-coli is hidden from taste and smell. It can only be found with a microscope.
How do you know about the product quality of the brand you will be selling in November ?
I did not go down to Honduras myself but someone I know well did and viewed the operation from all angles. I am blessed to have an extended family member who speaks the language and had other business down that way. Then product samples were brought back for testing on quality to determine the quality. In the next step, bulk product was bought and tested again by a lab.
So the tested product is not being bottled in Honduras but being bottled by a US - FDA approved lab here in the US after being tested for contamination.This is the difference in products and product safety. I will be buying from one producer only. He does not sell to hundreds of companies. He has only about 850 acres of trees. He is smaller than some plantation owners but he does things the right way and that is what is important. His equipment is modern and his steps to process the product are safe and modern. He uses organic growing methods even though his product cannot be labeled as organic. It costs a company upwards to $20.000 and more to qualify to use organic on the label. There are reams of paperwork to go with it. The bigger operations lose control over the long haul because they need so many different suppliers to keep stocked and may have hundreds of workers.
I will be selling Moringa under my own label in November. If you have any questions, you will contact me.
I will be able to control customer service so I know that you are being treated right.
You will not be talking to someone in another country.
You will not have to worry if your product will be held it in customs after you ordered it from India.
You will not have to worry about someone taking your credit card information in another country.
You will not have you question if the product was tested or if it was irradiated.
You will know the answer to these questions.
My product will have been grown in Honduras. If at any time later I have to change that, you will know that as well.
In the cleaning of equipment, some workers may be new or tired or lazy....and cheat on the procedures that keep your food safe. Perhaps it is the owner who is not consistent on these rules or ignores the rules when no one is looking. There are a hundred steps in the picking and processing of a food....it only takes one missed step or two to contaminate a food.
So I hope this answers your questions on this subject. I have some news to share with you next blog. God Bless your weekend! Kate Freer, The herbladyisin