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Calif. Fines Grower For Misleading Organic Labeling

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has penalized a Santa Rosa farming operation for falsely labeling its products as organic.

The department said Friday it had reached a settlement with Valley End Farm after an 18-month investigation and appeals process.

The state found the grower had misled customers in 2008 and 2009 by labeling conventional produce as organic. It also failed to keep adequate records proving its operations met organic production standards.

Valley End Farm has been fined $15,000 and will remain on probation for three years.

Farm owner Sharon Grossi calls the alleged violations a misunderstanding and unintentional. She did not want to elaborate without consulting her attorney.