It took 57 years and a dozen farm bills for organic to get a place in the nearly 1,000-page legislation that defines contemporary American agricultural policy.
Following a public comment period, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in mid-December approved a final consent order settling its first-ever case against a company making false organic product claims.
Although restaurants in the United States offering organic food don’t need to be certified to do so, one fast casual restaurant has chosen that route to become the first USDA certified organic fast food restaurant chain in the nation—a fact it has trademarked.
In the Summer 2017 Organic Report, we featured an article entitled “Organic fraud prompts action on import verification” describing the various avenues the Organic Trade Association was pursing to address organic fraud after the discovery of fraudulent soybean imports from Turkey. In addition to the trade association’s 2018 Farm Bill priorities that include a call for increased trade oversight, we reported on the Global Organic Supply Chain Integrity Task Force that had convened.
The continued success of our organic sector demands that organic standards be robust, consistent and clear to stay meaningful and maintain the integrity of organic and the organic seal.
Twenty organic farmers—including one major league baseball player—stepped up to the plate for thousands of organic farmers throughout the country when they came to Washington in November to participate in the Organic Trade Association’s first Farmers Advisory Council fly-in and talk with lawmakers and policy officials about organic priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are stepping up to support the advancement of organic agriculture in the United States. These organic champions are publicly advocating for an equal playing field for organic farmers, more research devoted to organic-specific production challenges, and adequate funds for the National Organic Program to maintain the integrity of organic, prevent fraud and uphold organic’s strict standards.
Organic Dietary Supplements
The Dietary Supplements Council first convened in August 2016 under the leadership of Bethany Davis from FoodState Inc. The aim of the council is to provide a forum for discussing issues, challenges and opportunities related to dietary supplements and to grow the organic supplement sector.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) strongly recognizes the fundamental role organic seed plays in the success of a thriving organic farm system, and over the years has consistently supported the need to improve ongoing efforts to develop and use organic seed and planting stock. We acknowledge, however, that the organic regulations allow for the use of non-organic seed and/or planting stock when organic equivalent varieties are not available in the appropriate quantity, quality or form.