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New USDA Rule Requires Periodic Residue Testing by Organic Certifying Agents

On November 8, 2012, the USDA Agriculture Market Services (AMS) notified the public that the National Organic Program (NOP) published a final rule that requires accredited certifying agents for periodic residue testing.

PRLog - Dec. 3, 2012 - FAIRFIELD, N.J. -- The periodic residue testing program is to begin January 1, 2013. The certifying agent is to have the products tested from at least 5% of their certified organic operations unless they have less than 30 operations in which case they are required to test products from one operation.

This testing is to be performed annually. Laboratories performing the testing are to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005. Other testing can be performed such as arsenic and other metal contaminants, genetic modified organisms, antibiotics and hormones which would count as part of the 5% of operations testing requirement.  

A specific sampling program procedure has been developed. The specific prohibited pesticides are listed in the program documentation. Draft guidance was developed to explain what must happen based on the results of the testing.

The reason the USDA AMS NOP published this final rule is because during a review from 2010 to 2011 of organic products for pesticide residues they found 21 out of 571 items sampled to have pesticides levels in excess of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum residue limits for the residue of the food tested.

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging the global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions (http://www.sgs.com/en/Agriculture-Food/Food.aspx) including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. SGS continually invests in world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality.

For further information please contact the SGS experts.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services

James Cook
Food Safety Technologist
291 Fairfield Ave, Fairfield
New Jersey 07004, USA

t: +1 973 575 5252

Email: cts.media@sgs.com
Website: http://www.sgs.com/pages/consumer-testing/sgs-consumer-go...

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.

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