Final rule on pesticide residue testing

The National Organic Program (NOP) on Nov. 9 published a Final Rule on Periodic Residue Testing. The rule clarifies a provision of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990 and the regulations issued that require periodic residue testing of organically produced agricultural products by accredited certifying agents. The final rule amends the NOP regulations to make clear that accredited certifying agents MUST sample and conduct residue testing (pre-harvest or post-harvest) on an annual basis from a minimum of five percent of the operations that they certify. OTA thanks the work of its Residue Task Force convened in May 2011 shortly after the Proposed Rule on residue testing was released. The Task Force analyzed the proposed rule and helped shape OTA’s comments to NOP. OTA strongly supported the requirement for periodic residue testing, and suggested some clarifications to enhance the quality and utility of the residue testing program. OTA is pleased to report that our efforts were successful, and all of our requested changes were captured in the final rule.

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