USDA proposes measures to crack down on fraud in organic farming

usda guts organic standards

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes amending the USDA organic regulations to strengthen oversight and enforcement of the production, handling, and sale of organic agricultural products.

The proposed amendments are intended to protect integrity in the organic supply chain and build consumer and industry trust in the USDA organic label by strengthening organic control systems, improving farm to market traceability, and providing robust enforcement of the USDA organic regulations.

[Editor’s note: Read Certified organic? ‘Lax’ USDA regulations encourage fraud in profitable organic food sector to learn more.]

Topics addressed in this proposed rule include:

  • applicability of the regulations and exemptions from organic certification;
  • import certificates;
  • recordkeeping and product traceability;
  • certifying agent personnel qualifications and training;
  • standardized certificates of organic operation;
  • unannounced on-site inspections of certified operations;
  • oversight of certification activities;
  • foreign conformity assessment systems;
  • certification of grower group operations;
  • labeling of nonretail containers;
  • annual update requirements for certified operations;
  • compliance and appeals processes;
  • and calculating organic content of multi-ingredient products.
Related article:  USDA relaxed its GMO, gene-edited crop rules—but not enough to foster biotech innovation

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