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Food Safety News

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USDA Organic

USDA’s organic enforcement efforts find fraudulent certificates

The USDA’s National Organic Program completed more complaint reviews and investigations that it received in 2017.  It finished work on 462 reviews and investigations while receiving 379 incoming complaints during the fiscal year 2017 ending last Sept. 30. Under the jurisdiction of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the organic program recently updated reports on enforcement activities and… Continue Reading

Should the boost in funding for organic farming survive in the new administration?

Opinion

And By Jay Lehr President Obama tripled the budget and staffing at the offices of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), only to see American organic acreage flatline during his tenure. The $9.1 million might seem like a rounding error for Washington D.C. But what 43 organic staffers actually did during Obama’s tenure will surprise… Continue Reading

Sustainable organics group urges support for soil-free growing

Opinion

In advance of the National Organics Standards Board meeting in April, the board’s Crops Subcommittee shared a draft proposal calling for the end of organic certification for hydroponic and aquaponic growers. This proposal, if enacted, will have far reaching and damaging effects on hundreds of producers, thousands of retailers and wholesalers and millions of consumers… Continue Reading

Board nixes use of carrageenan in organic food production

Sends 'bioponics' controversy back to subcommittee

The National Organic Standards Board has voted 10-3, with one abstention, to remove carrageenan from the list of substances approved for use in food items labeled “USDA Organic.” The vote came Thursday afternoon during the board’s three-day fall meeting in St. Louis. NOSB members were tentatively scheduled to make a decision Friday on whether to approve the continued… Continue Reading

Audit of Organic ‘Certifying Agents’ Suggests Program May Need Overhaul

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this year reviewed almost half of the so-called “certifying agents” for its organic program and ended up citing 62 percent for failing to correctly enforce certification requirements on organic farms they audit, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The nation’s largest daily newspaper stated that the organic farming boom… Continue Reading