New USDA rule boosts “organic” food oversight, targets fraud

The Agriculture Department on Thursday issued new requirements for foods labeled organic, a move aimed at cracking down on fraud and boosting oversight.

The rule strengthens enforcement of the USDA’s strict definitions of organic, which must rely on “natural substances and physical, mechanical or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.”

The rule requires USDA’s National Organic Program certification for all imported organic food, increases certifications of more businesses in the supply chain and boosts authority for inspections, record-keeping, traceability and fraud prevention practices.

The Organic Trade Association, which lobbied for rule, said it represents the biggest change to organic regulations since the creation of the USDA organic food program.

OTA officials said in a statement the regulation “will do much to deter and detect organic fraud and protect organic integrity throughout the supply chain.”

Sales of organic foods in the U.S. topped $63 billion in 2021, according to OTA, with consumers willing to pay top dollar for products free of pesticides and other contaminants.

Fresh produce, grains and other foods are vulnerable to fraud. This month, Department of Justice officials issued indictments in a multimillion-dollar scheme to export non-organic grain to the U.S., to be sold as a certified organic product.

The new rule takes effect in March and companies will have a year to comply with the requirements.

—-

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source ABC

A tech blog author and superhero who writes about technology and its impact on society, business, and everyday life

Related Posts

Elie Saab’s spring couture in Paris dreams of Thai escape

PARIS — Elie Saab whisked his guests away to Thailand for a Paris Fashion Week couture show Wednesday that gleamed with gold and intricate silk embroidery. Sheer diaphanous cloth floated…

Read more

Lloyd Morrisett, who helped launch ‘Sesame Street,’ dies

NEW YORK — Lloyd Morrisett, the co-creator of the beloved children’s education TV series “Sesame Street,” which uses empathy and fuzzy monsters like Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Cookie Monster to…

Read more

Why do so many older adults choose Medicare Advantage?

In 2022, 48% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans instead of original Medicare, and experts predict that number will be higher in 2023. Medicare Advantage plans are…

Read more

North Carolina doctor sues over abortion pill access, in test case of federal power

In a lawsuit that could impact abortion access nationwide, a North Carolina doctor on Wednesday asked a federal district court to strike down the state’s restrictions on the abortion drug…

Read more

Edmunds: The pros and cons of software running your car

Software was a big theme for automakers attending CES 2023 in January. BMW, Stellantis, Volkswagen and a joint venture between Honda and Sony showed off upcoming or concept vehicles that…

Read more

Jill Biden’s inaugural wear to go on display at Smithsonian

WASHINGTON — First ladies typically donate their inaugural ball gowns to the Smithsonian Institution for its collection. Jill Biden is giving up two clothing ensembles, and neither one includes a…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *