BALTIMORE, MD (Oct. 20, 1999)—Culminating many months of volunteer time to update industry guidelines and prepare for the next round of federal regulations, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) today adopted the American Organic Standards (AOS) as guidelines for the organic industry.
"This work is fundamental to the work of the trade association and indicates its maturity. This standard will raise the bar, which is positive for us," said Mark Retzloff, outgoing president of OTA.
Industry representatives cited the approval as a watershed event.
OTA has had industry guidelines in place since 1988, and has regularly reviewed and revised them. AOS is the culmination of a process initiated by OTA’s Certifiers Council and developed in cooperation with OTA’s Quality Assurance Committee involving more than 200 persons. The project was designed to update OTA’s organic industry guidelines and to build consensus in preparation for the anticipated release of federal organic regulations. The AOS document was compiled by Jim Riddle, Emily Brown-Rosen and Lynn Coody on behalf of OTA, with three rounds of comments from all segments of the industry.
The result, according to OTA’s Executive Director Katherine DiMatteo, is a very detailed set of industry standards.
"The work going into OTA’s American Organic Standards Project will also be used to guide the industry through the next comment period on regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture," DiMatteo added.
AOS was adopted by the OTA Board of Directors at its board meeting held in conjunction with Natural Products Expo East.
October 20, 1999
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