Organic Aquaculture Rule Flounders at OMB: Fishy Business
Industry awaits USDA’s Proposed Organic Aquaculture Rule which has been undergoing OMB review for the past year.
Today marks one year since USDA sent its proposed organic aquaculture standards to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. If and when this rule is released and finalized, the rule will set the first ever U.S. standards for the cultivation and production of organic fish and other seafood. Europe and Canada already have organic aquaculture standards in place.
With health-conscious consumers trending towards “organic” foods, and industry eager to capitalize on the premium paid for goods sporting the USDA organic seal, many food industry experts expect organic aquaculture standards to become law in the U.S. in the very near future. It remains to be seen, however, just how far the Agency will go with respect to implementation and monitoring of any such standards.
While industry awaits the proposed rule, some U.S. retailers are marketing organic seafood if the product was certified organic by an appropriate foreign certification body (except in the state of California where the sale of organically labeled seafood is currently prohibited).