OTA has a history of successful collaboration with members and with policymakers to formulate legislation and regulations that create a system meeting the needs of both organic farmers and organic consumers.
In 2009, OTA launched a Food Safety Task Force to track and analyze pending legislation for impact on the organic sector.
As the process has unfolded, the current mandate of this task force has evolved to analyze the Food Safety Modernization Act proposed rules and ensure, through the public comment process, that they: 1) accurately reflect the law; 2) do not duplicate, or, contradict with organic methods and materials; and 3) do not cause undo burden to organic producers and handlers otherwise.
In September 2014, FDA released revised language on key provisions of the produce safety and preventive controls for human food rules. The organic industry weighed in through OTA’s Food Safety Task Force, and the revisions FDA proposes to the regulatory text clearly shows that the voice of organic producers and handlers was heard.
OTA and its Food Safety Task Force have worked to raise awareness on FSMA and the rulemaking process and develop comments to FDA proposing solutions that align with organic regulations without a reduction in food safety. Our focus was to ensure that FDA meets its mandate by releasing FSMA rules that are science-based and risk-based and do not duplicate or conflict with the organic regulations. OTA will continue to provide members with resources to help in the compliance process.