Need for globally harmonised systems
Due to notable gaps between different country statutory regulations, and as most regulations only cover agricultural ingredient goods, large variations exist in the quality of organic compliance testing worldwide.
In the European Union (EU), the European Food Safety Authority performs random-selection product testing for pesticide residues in organic produce as part of conventional food pesticide monitoring practice, while pesticide prevention testing is left to the discretion of organic certifying bodies.
In the USA, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program runs a robust pesticide residue monitoring programme, though without implementing compliance testing. On the other hand, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implements a thorough safety evaluation for pesticides, where human, ecological and cumulative risk is assessed. USDA and EPA also collaborate to identify foods to be tested on a rotating basis and to meet EPA standards.
A huge number of food goods are imported and exported globally. In the EU, complete reliance is placed on the exporting countries control bodies and certificates of inspection, with no double-checking or product sampling performed to ensure standards are acceptable. In the USA, all imported organic food goods must be certified to USDA organics regulations, although no checks are performed, with complete reliance on the exporting countries control bodies.
The Organics Council ® works towards pesticide preventative actions, with repeated and unannounced site visits being part of the certification quality assurance process. Organic products must be subjected to the same level of safety testing and monitoring being imported as produced locally.
Sustainability shall be part of organics regulations
In both EU and US organic food policies, sustainability, or circular economy product design, is not mandatory in organics regulations. Environmental considerations are referred to in the regulations, although non-circular economy practice is not outlawed.
As a result, neglecting sustainability in current organics regulations implies permission to sell organic food content in packages that leach toxins, cause ocean pollution with plastics and add to landfills.
The Organics Council ® works towards placing environmental sustainability at the heart of safety assessments; organic can only be called organic when the environment is cared for as much as human beings.
– Have you seen organic food sold in ‘not currently recyclable’ packaging?
– We have seen most, sadly.