The Politics of Sprouts
This is our page that will take you to documents related to the politics of sprouts and sprouting. A lot of this stuff is old - as in - from the last millennium - but the brouhaha keeps coming back every time there is a pathogenic outbreak blamed on sprouts. Ironically, Lori asked me to leave this stuff off our new site. I checked out the pages and followed a link to the FDA - - this was in late 2009 - - and lo and behold, what was on the FDA's front page but a list of 5 recent news items - one of which was about recalled sprouts. Truly, some things never change. in 1999 we and our friends at New Natives generated letters and petitions (over 2,000 signatures - everyone from ordinary people to nurses and doctors - and we even had a US Senator (thanks Russ!) involved) which strongly suggested the FDA create a grading system for edible seeds. That's a lot of signatures for something to do with sprouts - and as we had learned - the FDA's seed bleaching protocol did not work to control pathogens - it was the perfect time to be proactive - But Noooo - did they listen to all the informed suggestions they received? Of course not. Anyway - I could go on and on, but I don't want to re-type the things you'll find if you follow these ancient links. The short story is - we have been through this BS for a long time. It remains true - as you will read on our Sprout Safety page - that organic seed has never been blamed in any of the outbreaks. That we tried to get the FDA to do the right thing (create a grading system for edible seeds - like there is for meat, eggs, dairy...) back in 1999, and that they still have not done it, is reason enough to keep these documents available.
Since, like I said above, this issue of sprout safety keeps coming up, we could add more current documents. Probably we should, but frankly it is always a rehash of the same old crap. It just makes our blood boil. Every time there is an outbreak, a ton of people just stop eating sprouts, another ton writes to us asking if our seed is safe, and another ton goes out on the web dissing sprouts. It's miserable! We always suffer. So if you never see anything new here please know that we are just protecting ourselves from unnecessary stress.
I will say this one more time: Organic sprouting seed has never been blamed for an outbreak of food-borne illness. Regardless of that, all of our seed (the 100 plus organic varieties, and the one conventional seed) is tested, and found free of pathogenic bacteria. We have never sanitized seed before sprouting it, and we have never stopped eating sprouts. If you feel unsafe about eating your own homegrown sprouts, then don't grow any. As always, it's up to you to determine what you need to believe in. Be well and happy.
Toxins in Sprouts
Sprout and Food Safety
What We Had to Say About the 2011 e-Coli Outbreak in Germany
Sproutpeople's Personal Experience With The Feds
Sproutpeople's 1999 Report on Sprout Safety
Sprouts are Safer than They Want You to Think
FDA's Guidance for the Sprout Industry
Our Battle with Whole Foods
Support and Ancillary Documents
A Comment Letter We Used in 1999's Fight For Survival
Letter to Congress Used in that Same Fight
Text We Posted (along with the following two images) While Fighting Back
The co-ops and natural foods stores we sold sprouts to welcomed our efforts.