Food Fraud in the Organic Industry

Event Information
Product Format
Prerecorded Event
60 minutes
Product Description

Ensure Compliance with the National Organic Program (NOP) Standards and Labeling Rules for Products Labeled as “Organic”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reported recently that they have failed to review required documents for products labeled as “organic”.  This finding and report means that a lack of controls at U.S. borders increases the likelihood that nonorganic products are entering the U.S. under “organic” labels.

The National Organic Program (NOP) standards were established in 2002.  With almost every type of product now flying the “organic” flag from thousands of farms into thousands of restaurants and retail establishments, the likelihood of organic food fraud has grown along with the market. However, importing fraudulent organic products is the tip of the iceberg. The NOP prohibits the use of sewage sludge, GMO, ionizing radiation, synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial preservatives, flavors, dyes and covers specific labeling rules or products labeled as organic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports punishable fines up to $11,000 and encourages reporting complaints. They list fraudulent organic certificates and all companies legally certified as organic. With organic sales jumping 23% in 2016, the Packer reports explosive industry growth that lends itself to fraudulent practices.

With the explosive growth of the organic industry and, consequently, in food fraud, companies need to protect the consumer, their industry and brand identity. Receivers of so-called “organic food” need to guarantee consumers that the product has not been adulterated by pesticides, cross contaminants, and other hazards.  All companies need to review and develop new tools and technology designed to provide data that tracks and traces organic product through all processes in order to build a preventive supply chain.

Join this session, where food safety expert Dr. John Ryan will provide you with an account of the food fraud practices in the food industry. This session will review the NOP standards and labeling rules for products labeled as organic.

Session Objectives

This session will cover:

  • Potential pesticide cross contamination issues from previously carried loads
  • NOP standards
  • How to verify the source of organic food shipments
  • Controls over transportation of fresh organic foods
    • Cross contaminants – Sanitation specifications
    • Procedures and controls
    • Controls over previous loads
    • Lack of border controls
    • Temperature controls
    • Inspection
    • Food security
    • Farmers’ markets

Session Highlights

In this session, you will learn about:

  • A tracking solution that allows shippers, carriers and receivers to record and review data focused on:
    • Tracking organic shipments from the source
    • Checking the shipment source against the NOP approved data base
    • Checking to assure the container or trailer for organic shipment has been cleaned according to shipper/receiver specific requirements
    • Assuring the container has been properly sealed
    • Assuring the temperature has been maintained throughout all shipment handoffs
    • Verifying conditions at the receiving end
    • Maintaining a complete record of all transactions
  • The NOP site to help you ensure you are dealing with organic certified suppliers

Session Agenda

  • National Organic Program (NOP)
  • Certified operation requirements
  • Claims of organic food benefits
  • Some emerging issues and controversies in the U.S. organic food industry
  • FDA FSMA preventive control rules: Supplier controls
    • Product liability and vicarious liability
  • FDA FSMA proposed rules
  • Focused mitigation strategies to protect food against intentional adulteration
    • Food against intentional adulteration
  • Different definitions of food fraud
  • Organic food fraud issues
  • How to prevent organic food fraud
  • FDA FSMA rules on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food
  • Organic food storage: Key considerations
  • Contamination hazard issues
  • How to protect the integrity of organic shipments

Who Should Attend

  • Buyers of organic food
  • Food safety and quality personnel
  • Organic producers and processors
  • Managers in retail and restaurant operations selling organic product
  • Compliance officers
  • Import personnel
  • Food logistics professionals
  • Sales and marketing personnel from organic organizations

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About Our Speaker

Dr. John Ryan - Food Safety Program Expert

Dr. John Ryan holds a Ph.D. in research and statistical methods. He has been working on transportation food safety issues since 2011 after retiring from his position as the administrator for the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture's Quality Assurance Division where he headed up Hawaii’s commodity inspection, food safety certification and measurement standards service groups. He has won awards for traceability technology for his visionary...   More Info
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