Ooh, Scary! USDA Wants to Protect Us from Raw Almonds

AlmondsThe agency insists that even organic almonds be cooked, but doesn’t want consumers to know they aren’t raw or how they are cooked. Action Alert!

The “pasteurization” rule was introduced in 2007 in response to a string of salmonella outbreaks linked to large almond processing plants in 2001 and 2004; thirty-three people became ill, but no one died. (Contrast that to the thousands of deaths caused by prescription drugs each year!) California’s Almond Board colluded with the USDA to propose mandatory “sterilization” across the industry, and the USDA agreed to implement and enforce the new rule.
According to the Almond Board, five methods of “pasteurization” are permitted: oil roasting, dry roasting, blanching, steam processing, and the use of propylene oxide (PPO). A sixth method involved irradiating the almonds, and this was used for a number of years, but now the Almond Board states that “Almond pasteurization does not include irradiation.”
Certainly the first three methods completely cook the nuts, so they are no longer raw. Of the last two, steam causes a marked reduction in nutrient content and partially cooks the nuts, and PPO is, according to the EPA, a “probable human carcinogen.”
PPO is an extremely volatile liquid used in the production of polyurethane plastics. It was once used as a racing fuel, but was banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations for being too dangerous—it’s so volatile that it is used in fuel–air bombs.
The material safety data sheet for PPO warns:

Causes gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. May cause central nervous system depression, characterized by excitement, followed by headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. Advanced stages may cause collapse, unconsciousness, coma and possible death due to respiratory failure. Aspiration of material into the lungs may cause chemical pneumonitis, which may be fatal….May cause reproductive and fetal effects. Laboratory experiments have resulted in mutagenic effects. May cause heritable genetic damage.

According to the EPA, acute (short-term) exposure to PPO has caused eye and respiratory tract irritation, and skin irritation and necrosis. It’s also a mild central nervous system depressant and causes inflammatory lesions of the nasal cavity, trachea, and lungs. In animal studies, PPO causes neurological effects and tumors, leading EPA to classify it as a class B2 carcinogen, and California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Massachusetts to list it on their state right-to-know registries as a known carcinogen.
So for raw almonds, your choice is to either cook them or make them potentially toxic. Steam treatments are running up to $2.5 million, whereas PPO starts at $500,000. Which do you think most farmers choose? Over 68% of almonds are treated with PPO.
Raw organic almonds not treated with PPO may be heat pasteurized with steam. But heat may oxidize the omega 3 fatty acids in almonds, potentially turning them rancid and producing free radicals, which are believed to play a role in the development of cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Even worse, there is no labeling requirement to show that almonds have been steamed or treated with PPO, so consumers are misled into thinking they are eating truly natural raw almonds when in fact they are not. Labeling is an absolute necessity for consumers to make an informed choice.
When the rule was instituted, raw and organic almond farmers were outraged and pushed back. They fought the USDA, and in 2010 a federal appeals court ruled they could challenge USDA’s almond regulation.
Now ANH-USA has submitted an Amicus Curiae brief in support of the plaintiffs (an amicus curiae, Latin for “friend of the court,” is an outsider who provides information to assist the court in making its decision). Our brief will allow ANH-USA to raise issues that may not be brought up by the plaintiffs during regular trial proceedings. It will also let us take a stand against the USDA and call attention to the public policy and public health implications of the almond rule.
Besides the aforementioned problems with the “pasteurization” process, there are serious legal concerns about the rule-making process. USDA did not go through the normal, open public hearing and comment process when issuing the almond rule. The agency contacted only 115 select almond growers and handlers—out of a total of over 6,000—to invite them to comment on the proposed rule, and consumers and retailers were almost universally unaware of the proposed rule. Only eighteen public comments were received from the entire country.
ANH-USA sees the almond rule as a slippery slope, because for the first time USDA is establishing minimum “standards” for how farm products are processed, setting a dangerous precedent for the potential sterilization of other organic agricultural products. Will they try to irradiate spinach, or will they realize the process will actually destroy the delicate product? We argue in our brief that the USDA is not a food safety agency and thus such decisions are not within their mandate.
The lack of labeling is arguably a violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which declares unfair or deceptive acts or practices to be unlawful. A “deceptive act” includes a “misleading omission.” Labeling steam-heated almonds as raw is intentionally misleading; and we would argue that not disclosing the fact that almonds are being treated with PPO, when the public, if they knew of the practice, would surely refuse to buy them, is extraordinarily deceptive.
Almonds have tremendous health benefits. They are an excellent source of manganese, copper, and vitamin B2 (all of which are important for the body’s energy production). Almonds are rich in magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E, and high in health-promoting monounsaturated fatty acids and many other nutrients.
Raw almonds (with no heat applied) are particularly healthy. According to USDA data, raw almonds have more calcium, iron, potassium, fiber, manganese, and vitamin E. By insisting that raw almonds be “sterilized,” USDA is trying to take an extremely healthy food sound scary—something the public needs to be “protected” from, when actually the public may be more at risk from the chemical used to treat the nuts. Raw, organic almonds are not scary. As we point out in our brief, no salmonella outbreaks have been associated with organic almonds because they follow higher-quality processing controls. Therefore, organic raw almonds should not have been subject to the mandate in the first place.
Imported almonds are not subject to the almond rule (how is that for logic?)—so if consumers want real raw almonds, they will have to buy the imported ones. What a tragedy that our public policy is deliberately hurting the domestic market—especially small organic farmers, who need every sale they can get!
Action Alert! Tell USDA to put a hold on the almond rule at least until they open it up to public hearing and comment. Let them know that organic almonds should have been exempt from the almond rule since they already follow superior quality controls and there have been no salmonella outbreaks in connection to organic almonds. And insist that almonds that have been “treated” be labeled as such—particularly when PPO is used. Send your message to USDA today!

Take Action!


  1. I have a source for unpasteurized almonds from CA and have been eating them, making almond milk, etc for years. Tell the FDA to go pound sand, and all the monsanto expats that work at the top of the FDA food chain.
    Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. The fox [FDA] is a piece of the medical cartel that runs everything we eat, drink, and with which are soon to be force vaccinated.
    The FDA allows known carcinogens in food people eat daily. But for God-sake, the FDA is watching out for you by making sure you don’t get living enzymes in real food. Great work demons!!

  2. The USDA should be warning Americans that most all our food and bottled water/beverages are full of fluoride (from towns that process and irrigate with fluoridated water.)
    We need fluoride to be labelled on our food until we get all fluoride out of our water.
    IT does NOT prevent cavities and Harvard researchers just released that kids drinking fluoridated water have significantly lower IQs….along with 42% having fluorosis.
    Who will save us from fluoride…it was essential in the Abomb in the 40s but that is all. It does the human no good are all and is a toxic waste poison. One drop of toothpaste tells you so.

  3. Raw foods should be raw. While it is understood that the goverment wants to “protect us” from pronlems that develop from large acale farming, the way to protect us is not to distroy the food value of raw foods by cooking them. There are risks in all parts of life – just give us the full imfprmation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Please, hold off on your almond ruling for organic almonds. If would destroy a tremendously beneficial organic food source. Also, isn’t illegal to make your regulations without public input?
    Apparently as the ruling is proposed, imported almonds would not require sterilization. Will you put another dent in the US economy and send raw almond loving citizens out to benefit foreign lands?!
    I would much rather see the FTC and FDA prohibit carcinogenic additives to foods that are so frequently used. The FDA needs a new moniker: The Artificial Food and Drug
    Brian Sparks

  5. Organic almonds should be exempt from the almond rule. Almonds that are treated with PPO must be labeled.

  6. Why do we need more of this foolishness? No one has died and then we are to be subjected to who knows what? Let us tell them to go hide in a cave somewhere so thay cannot do any more damage. Maybe they should get a real job.

  7. Do not screw with raw Almonds. When I Buy Almonds i do not want all this junk I just want Raw Almonds. They are screwing up water & other nut with all this junk added to them. All of this junk makes every one fat & ulgy. Keep this junk out of our Food. Hershell Pruitt

  8. I had no idea that our almomds were processed like this… No wonder we are getting sicker as a nation.. We have no idea what we are eating, even if it say’s natural or raw… Stop the deception and stop altering and destroying the nutrients in our foods!

  9. Please leave the almonds alone. Protect us from the republicans, who are proven to be poisonous and deadly to all living things.

  10. Due to the actions of the “Almond Board” I ceased buying ANY USA commercially grown nuts at that time. I buy imported raw almonds and other seeds and nuts that I can’t obtain locally, either by foraging or by buying from farmers who don’t give a rat’s cheeks about the USDA.

  11. “But heat may oxidize the omega 3 fatty acids in almonds, potentially turning them rancid and producing free radicals, which are believed to play a role in the development of cancer and other degenerative diseases.” Free radicals are indeed dangerous, inside the body. However, they exist for only a fraction of a second. Food that once contained free radicals would be safe to eat long before they could be consumed. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose some USDA actions, but false arguments and scare tactics should not be used by those who care about the public health. Radiation treatment certainly scares many people, but it does sterilize food and while it may decrease the nutrient content it does not make the food dangerous to eat. I would be much happier if everyone based their arguments on sound science and not on irrational fears. Truth in labeling should be a given. I would be happy to discuss this with anyone and give permission to share my email address with anyone who requests it.

  12. You do not even mention soaking. I soak all my nuts, including almonds, b/c raw nuts contain an “anti-enzyme” the plant uses to protect the nut until conditions are right for sprouting. This anti-enzyme makes it difficult for our bodies to utilize the gifts of the almond. Soaking makes the nutrients much more bio-available. And, after soaking, even the almonds will sprout if left damp. Treated nuts will NOT sprout. // I buy my nuts at a farmers’ market where they swear they come straight from the trees. But how will this affect Whole Foods and other health food stores with bulk sections? I will take action above, for sure.

  13. Our forefathers had the greatest of wisdom and left us with a few guidelines.
    “If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
    — Thomas Jefferson.

  14. An investigation into who in the USDA benefits financially is warranted. There is no legitimate reason to take such action,especially secret action. I would not be surprised if The FDA and Big Pharma were involved. After all, if we can’t get our nutrients from almonds, we can get them from drug companies.

  15. The American people should be allowed to think for themselves!! If you believe raw almonds are a hazard then label them so. We should be allowed to use our own judgment and knowledge.

  16. For goodness sake eat some raw almonds and get some brain power so you can think clearly. Raw almonds are not a legitimate threat to the populace who eat them, and it’a absolutely ridiculous that anyone would think of treating a simple natural food filled with nutrients with a chemical that’s a proven carcinogen. Who are the people in the USDA? Let’s kick them out and give these jobs to people who can reason and uphold the rights of almond growers and eaters. With decisions like these coming down I can see why some people want to dismember (dismantle) the government … I believe that oversight and some regulation is necessary but going off on tangents is ludicrous!

  17. I don’t think the USDA has the legal right to mandate that Almonds, be the raw or organic or any other type, to be treated with their chosen methods, including the cheapest method of PPO which is what most farmers would choose. This method uses chemicals that are very toxic to human beings and proven to be so.
    Why would the USDA include a known toxic method to treat almonds?? Why would the USDA not contact the big majority of farmers to comment about this? Why would the USDA not notify consumers that they will take comments and opinions on this treatment of almonds? It definately does not appear to be in consideration of farmers or consumers. A very small amount of people got salmonella from all sales of almonds and non from organic almonds not treated. If USDA were to compare this small amount to the total amount of prescription drug deaths, or bad side effects, it is easy to see that there is no danger compared to sales. Stranger part is that you cannot and do not control imported almonds.
    You will harm farmers of almonds in a huge way as we will continue to let others know what the USDA is doing and that will surely put a stop to majority if not all , sales of almonds. We, the consumer is well aware of the nutritional value of almonds, specifically the raw ones. We enjoy them raw, in our baked foods and in our sauteed foods. You are taking that very good food away from consumers and harming farmers, thus income, thus jobs. We see absolutely no legitimate reason for the USDA to do this and I am asking you to put a stop t o this action now.
    We have a multitude of foods that have been pointed at occassionaly as having salmonella and usually caused by some human error. Yet you have not taken any measure to ruin these fruits and vegetables with toxic chemicals or other methods of sterilizing, yet you have centered on almonds. Please do what is right for the consumer, the farmers, and for jobs, and stop this.

  18. This agency is backwards protect from natural omega 3 and give us 2-4-d in(agent Orange)
    in GMO’s. Protect us from vitamin D in amounts that do some good yet give us
    bicky balls from the the Japanese reactors. An Ocean full of radioactive materials
    and protect us from cherries. Something is wrong here?
    Natural has become dangerous and 10,000 year radioactive materials is some
    how good for us, if the goal is reduce the population and control .

  19. Can you buy Raw Almonds? I have been eating some from North Carolina. No where on the label or package does it state they are cooked etc.
    It says RAW Almonds.

  20. One responsibility of USDA is to protect the food supply. Another is to be honest with citizens about what is done to the foods in this supply.
    If cooked, almonds are then not raw. Don’t lie to the public.

  21. Please reconsider your proposal of heat treating Almonds!!! My family much prefers the enjoyment and benefits of consuming raw almonds. I believe that any possible benifit of sterilizing all almonds will be marginal at best and with many costs and drawbacks

  22. Thousands of people may die from prescription drugs each year, but many more lives are saved by them.

  23. Dear Sirs,
    We respectfully ask to let us eat our organic almonds raw without any chemicals applied. I eat
    raw almonds for calciium for my bones..We also have the right to know what we are all eating.
    Anyone would agree that that would be fair..

  24. I have health problems and I eat organic almonds every day. But as the almonds are doused in an extremely dangerous, poisonous carcinogenic substance, maybe this is one of the reasons why my health has worsened. We all ought to be able to sue the government for their EVIL in deliberately poisoning almonds. What a horrible crime against humanity.
    Where can I purchase almonds that have not been deliberately poisoned?

  25. This is a ridiculous waste! We do not need to have every food item we consume to be choked and robbed of nutrient value to make it “safe”, which is bogus anyway! I do not wish to consume foods that are made unhealthy by your absurd rules and regulations! Leave them RAW

  26. Please leave raw almonds alone! I enjoy them everyday as my extra source of protein. Why ruin something natural and good for you?

  27. I’m confused. Is this in effect NOW in California, are Trader Joe’s raw almonds not really raw?

  28. Per my doctor’s directions, my recovery from cancer includes eating RAW organic almonds (for the benefits noted in the article). In the beginning, I ASSUMED that American-grown organic almonds were raw — until somebody told me otherwise.
    Now I buy, via the web, “imported Italian-grown, organic, raw, unpasturized almonds” — at prices far above American-grown.
    But who knows if they really are? Any/all of the descriptors could be untrue or skewed. The nuts come in a poly bag inside a plain (unmarked) corrugated box. There’s nothing stamped on the box/bag/nuts — I just have to take the web site’s word.

  29. I eat organic raw almonds for the nutrition. I have for the last 40 years and have never suffered. This is taking things too far and eliminates the very reason I eat raw almonds.
    We need to be more concerned about our prescription drugs that kill 100,00 people every year!
    Just say to taking the “life” out of the food we eat. PPO is a heinous chemical perpetrated on the American public and needs to be banned…………. just as the National Hot Rod and Motorcycle Racing Assoc. did, due to its dangers to life! and just as several states have done as it is a known carcinogen…classified it as a Class B2.
    Stop promoting Illness!! Human health is premeditated on nutrition!! The more we “kill” our food the more ill health we suffer!

  30. Having lived in almond country in central California and eaten pounds and pounds of raw almonds this regulation is a bad joke on Americans and the Democractic process!! To whom is the USDA selling out to this time??!!

  31. I do not want almonds to be treated or cooked. I can’t sprout raw almonds anymore because of these treatments. Just let us have organic almonds raw so we can get the best health benefits out of them as nature intended us to eat them in the raw natural state.

  32. Please concentrate on the mass animal housing problems, such as …. 70000 chickens killed because a drunkard turned off the power to three (3) chicken houses. I repeat 3 chicken houses held 70,000 chickens.in Delmar Md.. How big are those chicken house to be able to safely hold that many chickens? If the FDA/USDA really wants to protect the publics health, they would be concentrating on how animals are housed, what they are fed and how the animals are processed.
    I realize it may not be finacially beneficial for the public to still have healthy foods available rather than a regulated mess that makes money for you in some back handed payoff way, but you are making fools of yourselves only, the public sees what is going on…….and sooner or later it will catch up with you. Hopefully sooner.

  33. We DO NOT have FREEDOM in this country. When there is no choice in our food because the govt won’t mandate proper labeling or there are mandates ruining the health of our food ( such as almonds, GMO) which affects our health, we are not free.
    This is a disgrace and is a crime.
    It is a sad day when one realizes the US govt is harming all of us, our health, our medical bills with their special interest rulings in support of Corporate America such as the food companies, Monsanto, and others.

  34. USDA should be ashamed of itself, after allowing all kinds of horrors in the food, they now
    attack raw almonds/?Thats pretty sad and pathetic.
    I shall purchase more raw almonds.

  35. This is ridiculous! Is this still America? Land of the free? Let me freely decide if I want to eat raw almonds or not, please.

  36. The true problem is that when you bring in factory processing it filthy, and they cannot compete. So they want to bring everyone down to their level. But true capitalism says you compete as is or you get out of the game. Do not go crying to mother USDA for help, as in an unfair advantage.

  37. so let me get this straight, they want to cook( sterize almonds) supposedly to protect us and then poison us w/ the chemical? yeah , now that makes sense!

    1. Memorize please: Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson said the Federal Reserve is an “omnipotent counterfeiter”–Economics 4th Edition and the Fed said their system works us “only with credit: that would keep its value “if there were fewer people bidding against each other”—Keeping Our Money (their credit) Healthy. NOW you know why abortion was legalized, why water is fluoridated, why there are many toxins in our food and drinks and why milk, sugar and tobacco are subsidized (to leave fewer people biddig against each other. The latest on extermination by fluoridation: http://www.morpix.biz/flu If all of us were permitted to use all of the credit we get, prices would explode and the “money” that Keynes called “worthless” would become useless and we would become free.
      I hope you see why they don’t wamt us to have raw almonds. My breakfast today consisted of shaved almonds and cantalope.

  38. 5 Alfred St
    Mascot NSW 2020
    To The ANH – USA
    Proposals to treat almonds with toxic chemicals and/or heat treatments which destroy vital nutrients is a far greater hazard to consumers than ocassional risks such as salmonella poisoning. Further, it is highly deceptive for treated almonds not to be accurately labelled with data about processes or chemicals used – yet passed off as “raw” almonds.
    Threats to basic nutrition could be labelled as potentially genoicidal in their own right, and can have broader implications outside the country of origin due to exports and/or legal and practical precedents. So, I am commenting as an Australian citizen, though I also have American family.
    I earnestly request that for future health of generations, you do not mandate heat treatment of almonds and other raw foods that nourish the American people. They are now, by and large, an overweight and over-drugged but undernourished people. Some American attitudes towards food and its handling have been a poor example to the wider world. Food is but one of the various areas which are causing a decline in the international standing or esteem in which the US is held – but it is an important one.
    Kind Regards
    Linda Vij
    Kind Regards
    Linda Vij
    Yours sincerely
    Linda Vij

  39. Thank YOU for the truckload of info on almonds, USDA and the threat to small organic growers, and those who depend on an untainted, raw, organic crop of almonds each year. Extending the ‘kill almonds’ rule to small organic producers is dire. What more can we do to fight this off? Due to a series of unfortunate environmentally devastating ‘mishaps’ in my early years, I suffer from a number of compromising health conditions and have worked hard to overcome and/or cope with damages done to my health early on. Raw, untreated, organic almonds are my PRIMARY source of daily protein – the only protein I am not allergic to. Raw, untreated, organic almonds, eaten on a daily basis, are known to prevent some cancers. They are THE single most valuable food source nut or seed known to humans. The exception for small organic almond farmers to NOT treat, kill, or compromise the integrity of the almonds MUST be preserved. Thank you!

  40. It’s really sad to hear and to know that this is happening. It was intended by the Creator that seeds particularly stay healthy and alive in their raw state but when they are steamed or worse yet treated with highly toxic chemicals they become a danger to the people. When they are raw they possess all their health giving benefits including their valuable live enzymes. I trust that better sense will prevail when this issue comes to court or before the people.

  41. Put a hold on the almond rule until you have the facts. Organic almonds should be exempt.

  42. To me this potential action by the USDA proves that it is run by either the incompent–I’ve been a chemist since graduating from UCSD in La Jolla, Ca. in 1969 with a degree focusing on ORGANIC chemistry— OR alternatively, the USDA is run by the insane! PLEASE stop the USDA from implementing this INSANE idea to protect us when it will NOT!

  43. I could not tell from your article about raw almonds if this FDA guideline is in effect now or not. So the basic question is are raw organic almonds from the USA say that you buy in a store like Trader Joes treated or not at this time. Please respond I will make a donation to Alliance for natural health. this is is important to me I eat a lot of organic raw almonds. thank you sincerely Kevin Streitwieser THE FDA IS OUTRAGEOUS.

    1. Here’s a link to an amazing company http://www.livingnutz.com/faqs/ … From what I know ALL ALMONDS IN THE USA are NOT RAW!!! … Some stores are importing from Spain and Italy, so your nuts MAY BE from those countries AND some almond growers in Northern CA are making them “somewhat” available to small consumer purchases!!!!
      Hope this helps, I personally don’t buy any nuts that are raw and organic (almonds) from anyone unless I know they’re from Italy or Spain!!!
      ~ Alexis

  44. To Whom it May Concern:
    This particular communication from Aliance for Natural Health points out the three things that I have found to be characteristic of federal agencies: 1. The prostitution of the powers of the members of the agency, or, 2. The extreme stupidity of the agency members,or,3. A combination of #s 1. and 2.
    Corruption in our legislative bodies, both state and federal, and among our various agencies appears to have no boundaries.
    God help us!

  45. Why is the FDA making rulings which do not improve the health of people? Why are they wasting their time on items which are already “safe”, and not spending their time on products coming from China, which have been proven to contain carcinogens and radioactive materials and poisons, and worse, and why are they not “taking care of” items already in the US like the famous “peanut butter” killer of the past. These products and our own produce need to be monitored. Meats, beef, chicken, turkey and egg products need to be monitored more closely. The lack of cleanliness and care of animals during their life, and the killing and processing need to be more closely supervised. Our greens need to be at optimal nutrition, without salmonella or other sickening problems, our vegetables, and flours need to be safe from adulteration, including not having unknown GMO’s in our food and drink products. The FDA has plenty of bonifide problems which need their attention without them attacking a product which is already at optimal state for consumption and human use. I have a dear friend who lost her daughter during the peanut fiasco and I consider that even murder, as the company knew their product was contaminated and could be fatal to consumers. Where was FDA then? It was a lengthy and painful death for this young person. georgia carman ps. I am sending emails to other government officials.

  46. Dear USDA Friends,
    If no deaths have occurred from raw almonds, why pasteurize? If it is in the best interests of the consumer to pasturize, it is only fair to label method used so we can make our own choice of what type of pasteurized almonds to consume. Please consider allowing the consumer to eat raw almonds that have not been pasteurized; this is the best way to retain nutrients in diets that are already lacking nutrition and produce consumers that are health compromised as a result.
    Thank you,
    Suzanne Goodemote

  47. Dear USDA Friends,
    If no deaths have occurred from raw almonds, why pasteurize? Please consider allowing the consumer to eat raw almonds that have not been pasteurized; this is the best way to retain nutrients in diets that are already lacking nutrition and produce consumers that are health compromised as a result.
    Thank you,
    Suzanne Goodemote

  48. Tell USDA to put a hold on the almond rule at least until they open it up to public hearing and comment. Let them know that organic almonds should have been exempt from the almond rule since they already follow superior quality controls and there have been no salmonella outbreaks in connection to organic almonds. And insist that almonds that have been “treated” be labeled as such—particularly when PPO is used

  49. i am sorry to say i won’t be buying almonds anymore. i like walnuts and they are a good source of most of the nutrients in almonds, plus a couple more goodies for the body – that is, unless i learn that walnuts are being “treated”, too. then it will come to finding someone with a pecan tree and making arrangements to buy from them.

  50. We are living in a society where we are poisoning our bodies with chemicals and each generation is becoming sicker and sicker! Stop the madness by trying to control food with unhealthy practices. Natural is best for the body it’s been said over and over again. Getting rid of all the nutrients by pasteurizing almonds or adding chemicals is not what our bodies need. The decision to eat Raw almonds should be left up to the consumer! Not before they are bought and unaware of what they are putting into their bodies.

  51. FDA seems to be just a tool of the Agribusiness and Big Pharma to keep standards low and prevent people from protecting their health with natural foods and nutritional supplements. If imported almonds are not cooked, then the purpose here is not to protect the health of consumers. It is anticompetitive.

  52. Such insanity. Humans have been eating raw almonds since the beginning of the Garden of Eden with great benefit to their health. Is civilization loosing all common sense?

  53. August 29, 2012
    Dear ANH-USA:
    In view of the 2001 and 2004 salmonella outbreaks from large almond processors; USDA should simply have required better sanitation procedures in the collection, processing, and storage of raw almonds. This stupid, criminal, and dangerous ” pasteurization ” demand, especially with propylene oxide and/or nuclear irradiation as well as the other heat methods, should be absolutely outlawed. The trouble with this petition is that we, the food consumers, are groveling to the criminal USDA that we already know is infested with criminal Agribusiness Pigs, completely illegally, and they should be thrown completely out of that department as well as the FDA. Since they are trying to make our raw almonds even more dangerous than they already are, why not press Federal Criminal Charges against the USDA for creating a reckless, criminal danger to the Public Food Supply and then aggravating that danger with an even more criminal act of not labeling the chemical ( PPO ) or thermal damage done to the almonds.
    In light of this as well as the other major criminal act of genetically engineering the USA Public Food Supply, once we convict these USDA and FDA criminals in Federal Court , they should be sent to a security level # 6 Federal Penitentiary . That would be in Florence, Colorado. Of course there are so many GE food collaborators they will probably have to build a special prison for all of them.
    yours truly,
    Roger Fuller

  54. I insist that almonds that have been “treated” be labeled as such—particularly when PPO is used. Organic almonds should have been exempt from the almond rule since they already follow superior quality controls and there have been no salmonella outbreaks in connection to organic almonds.

  55. I am Vegan and Raw Almonds have a MAJOR part of my diet Please consider this fact Thank You

    1. Boy, what a rough group. As a producer of both organic and conventionally grown almonds and grapes, we are on the front lines of all the regulatory, economical, legal, and practical/financial challenges of supplying food to the consumer. We feel that the consumer is always right, so raw almonds should be made available to those willing to take the risk of bacterial contamination. All food, if it is produced outside of a greenhouse setting, is subject to environmental risk factors, some of those come in the form of bacteria coming from the feces of vectors such as natural avian birds of prey or small seed eating birds which eat natural weeds groing on the outside of or within fields. Other vertebrates, such as gophers, mice or rats can frequent fields for food and can also contaminate food as it is growing or during harvesting. All of these can cause some sort of risk factors for contamination, no matter how consciencious a farmer may be or what type or production system he/she may utilize. As a producer, we are probably in your “agribusiness pig” label. However, we would urge folks to get to know the issues from our vantage point, and in turn we will try to understand them from yours as well. That usually makes a better environment for progesss than the mostly militant language I see here. You may want to try to actually get to know a farmer, we are not all as bad as it seems you think we are. We have kids too, we live in the environment we grow the crops in, and have the most risk if things aren’t tended to properly. We vote for raw almonds being made available to those of you who think that is the best choice for them. We don’t want you to sue us if you get sick from that choice if we have no control over that risk. Please be mindful that you take more risk of getting sick from a stray bird’s droppings, than if you buy conventionally treated product, but it should be your choice.

      1. Guess I missed the negative remarks. Seeing the FDA or any other govt. agency initials does not give me any confidence that it will be good for me. Pastuerizing any food takes nutrition from the food. It amazes me that when I was a kid the farmers didn’ have their hands tied by the govenment and there wasn’t all the illness’ there is now. The government should get out of bed with big Pharma &Agri and we would all be better off. The best they could do for us give us a CHOICE by putting labels on the food that has their toxins. They should Quit messing around with Mother Nature!
        Thank you for what you are trying to do.

  56. Here we go again. Another food item or process we are not allowed to know about. Has some favored individual produced a novel patent-worthy pasteurization algorithm or device, and is waiting in the side lines for the agency to “prepare the field with this farce? Or is this simply the Peter Principle at work?

  57. If it is now not clear that the FDA/USDA et al are deliberately despoiling our food supply it may never be.
    Lets see
    o Despoiled Food
    o Toxic Food
    o Toxic Drugs
    o Toxic Vaccines
    o Poisoned Water
    o Poisoned Air Spraying
    o Toxic Dental Procedures
    o Toxic Medical “Testing”
    How are you supposed to get healthy in this environment?
    Avoid all the above as best you can.

  58. I have read that raw almonds are more easily digested if soaked in saltwater overnight, just like sprouted lentils and beans. I cover 4 cups of almonds with water and 2 tablespoons iodized salt and soak overnight, then place in a cookie sheet and bake at 210 degrees until they are dried out and crisp (as much as 12 hours). They are delicious!

  59. What amazes me is that the FDA and the USDA allows GMO’s in just about every prepackaged food items, without a second thought. But the poor raw alomond has to be treated as a real danger to the health of the consumer. The so-called food label is a joke. The only recourse is to
    cook from scratch, which I have done for about 40 years. This is not a new problem with the FDA, the problem is the FDA!!!

  60. Unbelievable! It never ceases to amaze me the things I find wrong with our food. Our country needs to be protecting its people, not harming everyone’s health to make a profit! Other countries have banned GMO’s. Germany doesn’t even allow a lot of items from the US. A lot of our food companies too make thier products without chemicals or GMO’s for other countries. In the US there is no limit on what producers can put and/or do to the food. So many Americans have health problems and we wonder why. Companies are spending millions on the prevention of labels. They know if we are aware of this stuff…we won’t buy!

  61. What will they think up next. We try to eat a hand full of unsalted almonds every day, either as a snak-pak or on the breakfast cereal or on salads for lunch.

  62. Why can’t the DAMN government..YOU !!!!!!!!!!!…defend liberty instead of trampling on it. All you idiots have to do is abide by a JUST LABEL IT policy. If you mistakenly believe that raw almonds are a health risk then demand that untreated almonds be labeled as raw and untreated….and certainly if almonds are treated with the carcinogen propylene oxide or destroyed nutritionally by heat…then again demand they be labeled as such. Let the farmer and the consumer have the freedom to choose.

  63. Oh dear. I just go out when they are ripe on my trees, collect, shell and store them in a jar, guess I must be risking something, of which I know not, but at eighty five reckon I’ll not worry too much.
    U S D A ?? It doesn’t matter what the bureaucrats do, nor in which area, it is invariably done in pure ignorance of the subject matter, or at the behest and advice from vested interest.

  64. I used to buy raw almonds, usually organic, by the bag to eat as snacks. Hey, they were even meals sometimes! I loved them. Now I hesitate to buy them at all and think about what they have become — something other than what they were. Too bad we had to ruin another great natural food. The almond growers don’t get my business any more. Our small co-op isn’t carrying them at this time. They are probably looking for a secure source of clean, non-contaminated, uncooked almonds. Good luck.

  65. I think the FDA/USDA knows exactly what they are doing to our food and why. “Population Control” is one thing that comes to mind. I know that sounds very extreme, these people are no dummies like a lot of us think. The FRANKENFOOD in time will make you sickly and of course you will have to go to the doctor and he will give you medicine or tell you have to go to the hospital. Hopefully you won’t die from all the unhealthy food you’ve been eating. These people have got to be stopped from messing with our food,. and soon.

  66. Label Label Label. We are able to make informed decisions when given information. I do not need any government office or grower to make my decisions. They regulation and grow as they see fit but I am the one that buys. I should be able to read labels and ingredients to know what I am buying and eating. To much big brother is NOT what we need. Honesty, information, and respect for consumers is what we need.

    1. Get in touch with your Congressman and your two senators and let them know this. The majority of Democrats always vote AGAINST issues dealing with food freedom.
      Unlike most Democrats, Republican Senator Rand Paul is a BIG proponent of food freedom as is the Tea Party.
      The liberal media never tell us of things like this but FOX news does.

    1. According to a Democrat I heard speaking to the Congress in Jan. or Feb.
      of 2009, he was arguing that the American public does NOT have the right to decide what food they can eat. I heard it live on C-Span.

  67. I’ve just found this article today because I was looking on the label of the “raw” almonds that I just bought. It brought me here. Since it’s been almost a year I’m wondering what the latest news on this is? Where would be a good place to find that?

  68. A few things. First, it was the California Almond Board that proposed the rule and it was accepted by the USDA. However, it only applies to almonds grown in California. Imported almonds or almonds grown in other states aren’t subject to this rule. Additionally, the rule was being opposed by small California growers not because of some belief that truly raw almonds are better, but because it cost them money. Not exactly altruistic, especially since they are hiding behind the Organic label to rally a cause instead of admitting that it impacts their bottom line.

  69. I now believe I have found out why I became violently ill after eating what I thought
    were raw almonds. The effects of PPO sound exactly what I suffered.
    I am so mad about all this, I would like to sue the places where I bought
    them which was Walgreens, their brand of “raw” almonds and also
    Blue Diamond brand also bought at Walgreens. This is disgusting.
    I will NEVER eat a raw almond, not one, again, organic or whatever.

    1. We must face it. We are pawns in a money game and some of the biggest money is controlled by the FDA. Why is our nation so Hell-bent upon promoting every cancer-causing element in production? Why do we exist in the 1930’s realm of cancer advances and treatment? The rest of the world is worlds ahead of us in cancer treatment and research. Could it be the $200 billion per year cancer industry? Maybe the fact that in the Obama-care era, it’s cheaper to simply allow the aged to die than to care for them. Am I being radical? Far-fetched? Paranoid? Not at all. The fact is, our FDA is possibly the most corrupted agency in government and they control an unbelievable amount of money – very quietly.

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  74. Wait! There is no proof once evapored PPO exist on that product. How you can conclude it is toxic? 😀 Show me the PPO you find on almonds. Like stated PPO is very volatile. How this product can stay on almonds if it is soo volatile? I already know the answer man…. No they don’t try kill you and yes it is better to pasteurize than eat raw food without any treatment. I mean you don’t even wash the almonds before eating the product.

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