A proposed rule was published in the Federal Register this month by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), seeking to amend the USDA’s “organic” regulations to strengthen oversight and enforcement of the production, handling and sale of organic agricultural products. We’re letting you know because your pals at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have regulations concerning the “organic” claims that appear on alcohol beverage labels and in advertisements that must comply with the requirements of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) regulations.
The proposed amendments are intended to protect integrity in the organic supply chain and build consumer and industry trust in the USDA organic label by strengthening organic control systems, improving farm to market traceability, and providing robust enforcement of the USDA organic regulations.
Topics addressed in this proposed rule include:
- Applicability of the regulations and exemptions from organic certification;
- National Organic Program Import Certificates;
- recordkeeping 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 nonretail containers;
- annual update requirements for certified operations;
- compliance and appeals processes; and
- calculating organic content of multi-ingredient products.
If you have comments on this proposed rulle, send them on or before Oct. 5, 2020.