Main Menu New

Home > Organic Trade Association’s Position on GMOs

Organic Trade Association’s Position on GMOs

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has a comprehensive GMO policy in place, unanimously adopted by its Board of Directors.

1. OTA shall continue to call for a moratorium on GMOs in agriculture. More independent research and regulation are necessary before any more GMOS are allowed in the food system. In fact, there is increasing scientific evidence that GMO crops can cause environmental & health problems.

OTA shall adopt policy positions that uphold the long-term goal of a moratorium on GMOs. Until that goal is reached:

2. OTA supports mandatory labeling of all agricultural GMOs and their products. OTA supports the consumer’s right to know, and to choose foods, fiber and personal care products based on environmental, personal health, religious, dietary or other preferences. Labeling of GMO seed, products grown from GMO seed or stock, or made with ingredients and byproducts of GMO crops is necessary for farmer, supply chain and consumer choice.

3. OTA shall also adopt policies that address the problems the industry shall face as a result of continued GMO deregulation.

  • OTA shall advocate for a more robust regulatory framework for federal oversight of GMO crops that includes economic, environmental and human health impacts of GMO crops petitioned for deregulation.
  • OTA shall adopt policy positions that lead to a review of currently deregulated crops under an improved framework.
  • OTA shall directly engage in dialog with agencies and Congress regarding GMO policy.

4. OTA shall bolster organic as the gold standard by advocating for continuous improvement of the organic practice standard.

  • OTA shall adopt policy positions that strengthen the organic standards to minimize GMO contamination & increase enforcement on the prohibition of the use of GMO crop varieties while minimizing the negative impact to farmer
  • OTA shall advocate for GMO testing by certifiers as part of the requirement for periodic residue testing to verify compliance and enforcement of the standards.
  • OTA shall adopt policies that encourage the reduction of testing costs to organic farmers, handlers, and certifiers wherever possible.
  • OTA supports the incorporation of a GMO threshold, for crops that have genetically engineered counterparts, into the NOP regulations at the appropriate time. OTA will work with industry stakeholders, the NOSB, and NOP to that end.
  • OTA shall facilitate data collection and analysis on the extent of low-level contamination or adventitious presence of GMOs in organic and the best practices for prevention at critical control points in the supply chain.

5. OTA shall advocate for policies that assign the cost of contamination prevention and market loss to the developers of GMO technology.

6. OTA recognizes the critical role of seed in the supply chain and shall advocate for policies that secure a seed supply to the organic sector that is free of GMOs. To that end:

  • OTA shall advocate for a seed purity standard
  • OTA shall advocate for more robust germplasm repositories for non-GMO seed
  • OTA shall advocate for re-emphasis of classical plant breeding

7. OTA shall educate the public and policy makers regarding the environmental and health concerns emerging with GMO’s.

  • OTA shall educate the public on the extent to which organic farmers, food and fiber manufacturers work to prevent GMOs from entering the organic supply chain.
  • OTA shall educate policy makers on the challenges to agriculture from trans-gene flow and low-level contamination of organic crops by GMOs as they relate to meeting marketplace and consumer expectations.

Adopted by the Board of Directors- July 28, 2011

Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
(503) 798-3294

Laura Batcha
CEO/ Executive Director
(202) 403-8512