Latest headlines

USDA organic exemption change rankles consumer and environmental groups

The agency quietly changed the process for exempting otherwise prohibited substances in food labeled organic.

USDA changes the process for organic exemption

A statement from groups including the Consumers Union, Food & Water Watch, Beyond Pesticides and the Center for Food Safety slammed USDA for changing the process for exempting otherwise prohibited substances such as synthetics in food carrying organic labeling. Before the amendment, substances not normally permitted in production were granted five-year exemptions under extenuating circumstances, in order to encourage the development of organic or natural alternatives. In order to stay exempt, a substance would need to be reinstated by a two-thirds vote of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).

USDA's change would allow an exempt material to stay on the list indefinitely unless removed by a two-thirds vote of the NOSB, effectively shifting the burden of identifying exempted materials onto consumers and environmentalists, according to the joint statement. The policy also allows USDA to relist exemptions for synthetic materials without the recommendation of an independent board and outside of public view.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Shane O'Halloran

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.