OTA Policy Position
OTA shall bolster organic as the gold standard by advocating for continuous improvement of the organic practice standard.
OTA is actively working to reinforce consumer understanding that to be organic means – among other things – to be non-GMO. In January of 2014, OTA convened a task force to ensure that organic certification and corresponding National Organic Program certified labels remain the gold standard and to further communicate the benefits of organic. The task force developed several communication resources designed to help suppliers, retailers and consumers further understand the organic label and the GMO prevention practices required under USDA's National Organic Program. OTA also developed a position on the labeling of organic products as non-GMO.
Note: In November 2015, FDA released final guidance on voluntary labeling of products containing GMOs – after initially publishing that guidance in draft form in 2001. In the guidance FDA explicitly states that USDA organic certification substantiates a claim that a food was not produced using genetic engineering. (In other words – organic IS non-GMO.) They have applied this to all products sold or labeled in all three NOP certified labeling categories (“100% organic,” “organic” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s). Read OTA’s comments to FDA.
OTA's Fact Sheet on Non-GMO Verification under NOP Organic Certification OTA's Q & A on Non-GMO Verification under NOP Organic Certification Quick Tips: Organic is THE CHOICE to avoid GMOs OTA Position of Labeling Organic Products Non-GMO Infographic: Organic = Non-GMO Presentation: Organic = Non-GMO 2015 EcoFarm