Revision Opposition

IDFA comments on organic rulemaking.

In recent comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) expressed concern that some proposed revisions to the National Organic Program regulations could limit consumers’ organic food options.
The revisions seek to tighten specifications for organic products and products made with organic ingredients, which IDFA argues would blur the differences between the two product categories and cause fewer products to be available. Currently, products in the organic category must be made with at least 95 percent organic ingredients and no more than 5 percent non-organic ingredients. These non-organic ingredients must be included on the National List of acceptable additives and are only allowed if an organic form of the ingredient is not commercially available. Products in the “made with organic ingredients” category must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients, with the balance made up of non-organic ingredients.
The proposed revisions would hold products in this category to the same non-organic ingredient standards (National List ingredients that are not commercially available in organic form) that now apply to products in the organic category.
“By making these categories more similar, many products currently making truthful ‘made with organic ingredients’ claims would no longer qualify, which would restrict the options for consumers who seek out these types of products,” IDFA comments to USDA. IDFA further argues the revisions should maintain that the National List and commercially unavailable requirements are not necessary for non-organic ingredients or additives used in products in the “made with organic ingredients” category.
IDFA supported a second proposed change that would provide more flexibility to organic producers and processors regarding the feeding of dairy cows. This revision would allow dairy products to be considered organic if the cows producing the milk were fed with crops from a dairy farm in its third year of organic management.
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