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Organic Trade Association statement on USDA's Strengthening Organic Enforcement final rule


Maggie McNeil
(202) 615-7997
January 18, 2023
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The Organic Trade Association applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Organic Program (NOP) for its major accomplishment in making the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule (SOE) a reality. This regulation will have significant and far-reaching impacts on the organic sector and will do much to deter and detect organic fraud and protect organic integrity throughout the supply chain.  

Successful advocacy and engagement by the Organic Trade Association played a critical role in this regulation becoming a reality. The Organic Trade Association has prioritized significant time and resources into actions that will help mitigate and prevent organic fraud: our successful legislative efforts in the 2018 Farm Bill that authorized the key provisions of this new rule, our engagement with the National Organic Standards Board on recommendations for the regulation, our extensive official comments on the proposed rule and our unwavering campaign to continuously improve organic standards in all needed areas.  

The new regulation represents the biggest change to organic regulations since the creation of USDA’s National Organic Program. The rule closes gaps in current organic regulations and builds consistent certification practices to prevent fraud and improve the transparency and traceability of organic products. Fraud in the organic system – wherever it occurs – harms the entire organic sector and shakes the trust of consumers in organic.  

In preparation for a March 2024 implementation, OTA will now focus on providing the support and resources needed to its members to ensure successful compliance with this significant new rule.