Consumers are likely to see much more domestic farm-raised seafood bearing an organic label in the not-too-distant future. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a memo this week about forward with developing an organic aquaculture certification program.
According to Seafood Source, “Existing U.S. rules do not allow any seafood to bear the coveted ‘USDA Organic’ label due to the lack of standards for organic aquaculture production and certification, though some seafood products are labeled as organic because they’ve been certification by a third-party outfit such as Naturland in Germany.”
In a memorandum to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program (NOP), Miles McEvoy said that his agency is preparing a proposed rule for the production and certification of organic aquaculture products.
“We expect this rulemaking process to take place over the next two years,” wrote McEvoy, in the memo. “In anticipation of this rulemaking, the NOP has received a number of petitions for substances to be added to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) for use in organic aquaculture. These petitioned substances must be reviewed by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).”
The document formally asks NOSB to review the petitions about what substances might be allowed under the program.
The development of these standards comes amidst growing concern about chemical residues in farm-raised seafood — and concerns about aquaculture practices more generally.