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More information on oversight of organic certifiers, operations and products

Time:2013-1-18 Hits:3595

The US National Organic Program (NOP) has recently updated its fact sheet describing its oversight of organic products.  The fact sheet now includes updated background information on:
• The USDA organic regulations.
• Allowed and prohibited substances.
• The certification process.
• Compliance and enforcement.
• NOP’s history and regulatory authority.
• USDA’s Organic Literacy Initiative.
To continue efforts to increase its transparency, the NOP has now posted new certifying agents’ corrective action reports along with their accreditation certificates. 
NOP accredited certifying agents are responsible for ensuring that certified organic operations comply with the USDA organic regulations.
USDA officials conduct an on-site assessment of accredited certifying agents about once every two and a half years. This multi-day assessment includes on-farm witness inspections and thorough documentation reviews.
Throughout this process, USDA auditors identify any non-compliance.
The NOP then reviews the non-compliances and requests corrective actions from the certifying agent.
The corrective action reports submitted by the certifying agents, along with their accreditation certificates, are now linked from all three lists of certifying agents (sorted by certifying agent name and those serving specific US states and foreign countries) and accessible through the NOP website: Lists of NOP-Accredited Certifying Agents.

                                   Source: NOP Organic Insider (email newsletter), November 21, 2012

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