USDA: Enforcement of rules for spot testing organics
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The Department of Agriculture in the USA (USDA) has announced that it would start enforcing rules requiring the spot testing of organically grown foods for traces of pesticides, reports the New York Times. Major gaps in federal oversight of the industry had been exposed before. Spot testing is required by a law that established the basis for national organic standards. But regulators never made sure the testing was being carried out.
The head of the National Organic Program, Miles McEvoy, said that enforcing testing rules was one of several steps the agency was taking. Unannounced inspections of organic producers and processors and regular reviews of organic products in stores were also planned to make sure products were labeled correctly and met federal regulations. According to Mr McEvoy, there was a real commitment from the administration to improve the integrity of this program.
The testing for pesticide residues is expected to begin in September and will be done by the network of independent certifying agents that are already accredited by the department to inspect and certify organic operators. The organic program’s budget increased to 6.9 million US $ for the current fiscal year, from 3.9 million $ the previous year, according to Mr. McEvoy. Administration is seeking to increase the budget to 10 million $ in the next fiscal year.
The New York Times
Login for subscribers