USDA releases draft copy of the "Strengthening Organic Enforcement Proposed Rule"

USDA releases draft copy of the "Strengthening Organic Enforcement Proposed Rule"

USDA has released a draft copy of the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Proposed Rule. There will be a 60-day comment period on the proposed rule upon publication in the Federal Register.

In the proposed rule, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recommends amending the USDA organic regulations regarding oversight and enforcement of the production, handling, and sale of organic agricultural products. The proposed amendments seek to ensure integrity in the organic supply chain and the USDA organic label.

Topics addressed in this proposed rule include:

  • Applicability of the regulations and exemptions from organic certification;
  • Import certificates;
  • Record keeping 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 non-retail containers;
  • Annual update requirements for certified operations;
  • Compliance and appeals processes; and
  • Calculating organic content of multi-ingredient products.

More information on the proposed rule is available here.

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