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USDA Moves To Stop Organic Food Fraud, Finally

The USDA has finally finished a long-awaited rule that will help clean up fraud in the organic food sector.

This rule, put together by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is urgently needed given widespread fraud that has been reported in the organics industry. The level of deception has reached epidemic proportions: a USDA study found that 40% of all organic food sold in the US tested positive for prohibited pesticides. The rule takes a number of positive steps that, if properly implemented, will help restore some consumer confidence in the organics industry.

ANH brought attention to this issue in 2020 when the proposed rule was initially published. We also submitted comments to the official docket calling on certain provisions to be strengthened and expanded. Some of these suggestions were included in the final rule, such as expanding requirements for non-retail containers holding organic products to be properly labeled.