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Congress Weighs Bill to Combat Food Fraud

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the National Organic Program (NOP), which includes standards for “organic” food in the United States.  Throughout 2017, The Washington Post has published several stories calling into question the authenticity of products from some of the largest “organic” producers of milkeggs and imported grains.

  • Congress is currently considering legislation that would increase protections for consumers against food that is advertised as organic but does not meet the standards of USDA’s NOP. More specifically, the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act, introduced by Representatives John Faso (R-N.Y.) and Michelle Lujan (D-N.M.), calls for a modernization of organic import documentation, new technology advancements and stricter enforcement of organic products entering the U.S.  The proposed legislation roughly doubles the budget for the USDA’s organic program over the next five years. The Washington Post recently reported that the bill has 33 House cosponsors so far, and its supporters are hopeful that bipartisan support will facilitate its passage this year.

  • Industry has also stepped in to seek to halt the increasing incidences of fraud in organic.  Earlier this year, for example, the Organic Trade Association formed its own anti-fraud task force.  Given the increased attention this issue has received over the past year, and industry’s concerns, it is not inconceivable that an organic food fraud bill could come to fruition in the near future.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 4
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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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