An Annual Agriculture Ministry survey into the labeling of organic produce in Israel has found that in 2011, some 37.4% of the fruits and vegetables labeled as organic was not necessarily so.
The figure, however, still represents a drop from 2010, when 51.7% of produce fell short of abiding by the ministry's organic produce regulations.
The survey found traces of pesticides banned in organic agriculture in 3.6% of the test samples – a drop from 2010's 8.6%.
While 47% of the stores carrying organic produce proved satisfactory supervision, 33% of the stores proved lacking, and 20% of the stores were found to be in violation of the ministry's produce supervision regulations ; especially when it came to certification verification.
The ministry's survey included fresh and processed produce such as fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, preserves, legumes and baked goods, which were tested for three parameters: The source's certification consistency, store labeling and residual pesticides.
Agriculture Minister Orit Noked said that she "sees great importance to raising the issue of transparency in Israel's organic arena. The ministry is currently pursuing legislation that will ensure the proper labeling of all organic products.
"We also intend to create an online database where the growers and distributers, who fail to meet the ministry's standards will be listed," she said.
Organic farming makes up 1.5% of Israel's agriculture and 13% of agricultural exports.