Judge Upholds Use of Synthetics in Organics

December 11, 2006

1 Min Read
Judge Upholds Use of Synthetics in Organics

PORTLAND, Maine—The U.S. District Court, District of Maine, dismissed a legal action filed by Arthur Harvey in which he alleged that the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture failed to meet the requirements of the Order of the District Court.

Harvey had objected to the Secretary’s interpretation of the requirements of the amendments to the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) that were passed by Congress in late 2005; his motion sought an order from the Court on the issues of synthetic processing aids and “food contact substances.”

But federal Judge B. Hornby’s opinion was clear: “The history of this litigation, the timing and character of the amendments, and the reference to the First Circuit opinion in the appropriations bill, together make it apparent that Congress authorized the use of synthetic substances in handling operations so long as they appear on the National List.” The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has authorized 38 synthetic materials for use with some organic processed products (www.ams.usda.gov/nop/nop/standards/listreg.html.)

The opinion also stated Section 6517 authorizes the use of synthetic substances, whether ingredients or processing aids, for use in handling operations so long as they appear on the National List. Furthermore, the judge said Harvey’s claim about Food Contact Substance Policy Statement exceeded the bounds of the Consent Decree and the lawsuit.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like