Weaknesses in the National Organic Program’s International “Arrangements and Agreements”

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a report on the National Organic Program’s International “Arrangements and Agreements.” The USDA’s Inspector General found that the processes needed to be reformed. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) was determined to need an overhaul in how they control organic imports. Below is an excerpt from the report.

“The process for determining equivalency of organic standards lacked transparency. National Organic Program officials maintained documentation of the process to resolve differences between foreign and USDA organic standards, but they did not have a methodology in place to disclose the results of that process to stakeholders. Next, we concluded that AMS was unable to provide reasonable assurance that NOP required documents were reviewed at U.S. ports of entry to verify that imported agricultural products labeled as organic were from certified organic foreign farms and businesses that produce and sell organic products.”

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