Pingree Welcomes Long-Awaited USDA Action to Protect Integrity of the Certified Organic Label


Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Me.) at a Rally in Monument Square, Portland,  Last Year.

A final rule, the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE), was announced today by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) and Jenny Lester Moffitt, in the Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The rule protects integrity in the organic supply chain and builds customer and industry trust in the USDA organic label by strengthening organic control systems, improving farm to market traceability and providing stronger enforcement of the USDA organic regulations.

Several of the numerous key updates include:  Regulating certification of more of the businesses like brokers and traders at acritical links in organic supply chains; Requires NOP Import Certificatiotes for all organic imports; Requires organic identifiction on nonretail containers; Increasing authority for more rigorous on-site inspections of certified operations.

The SOE rule follows concerns about fraudulent organic claims, incuding those reported in a 2017 “Washington Post” ardticle that highlighted the challenges of  ensuring organic integrity throughoudt the input process.

Congresswoman Pingree, a long-time organic farmer, has served on the House Agriculture Committee and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.