October 29, 2020

USDA moves to overhaul labeling to deter organic fraud

The National Organic Programme (NOP) opens economic opportunities and new markets for American farmers – but in the last several years, millions of dollars of non-organic products have been intentionally mislabelled and sold as organic, eroding consumer confidence in the certified organic programme and undermining farmers who adhere to the law. To deter and detect this kind of fraud, a rule proposed by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) would strengthen oversight of the production, handling, certification, marketing, and sale of organic agricultural products. A strong supporter of clear, consistent, and accurate food labelling, National Farmers Union (NFU) has previously expressed concern about behaviours that threaten the integrity of the organic seal. In comments submitted today and an accompanying statement, NFU President Rob Larew echoed those concerns and urged USDA to finalise the rule.