GILROY (KPIX 5) — A Bay Area garlic farm is getting roasted in a new Netflix documentary series, accused of selling garlic peeled by Chinese prisoners.
The food documentary series from Netflix called “Rotten” accuses the nation’s largest garlic producer — Gilroy’s Christopher Ranch — of being involved in a price-fixing scheme.
The film also claims the company is profiting from imported garlic peeled by Chinese prisoners.
Company spokesperson and grandson to its founder Ken Christopher strongly denied the accusations during a Facetime interview Thursday.
“While watching it, my jaw just dropped, watching them hurl slander after lie after untruth after distortion,” said Christopher.
He claims 90 percent of what his company produces comes from California and is sold at premium prices. He says the rest comes from Spain, Argentina, Mexico and China and is sold at cheaper prices under other labels.
The Netflix series shows what it calls hidden camera footage of prisoners peeling garlic inside a prison. The series accuses Christopher Ranch of then selling that garlic under a subsidiary label called “Golden Lion.”
“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Christopher. “We have no trademarks in China.”
As for price fixing, Christopher Ranch does work with a large Chinese-American affiliate called Harmoni, which has been under investigation by U.S. authorities.
“The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol looked into it and found there was nothing there. That’s a fact that was conveniently left out of the docu series,” said Christopher.
Christopher Ranch is threatening to take Netflix to court to force the company to take the series offline.