Benchmarks in place

Published: Friday 15 November 2002

-- With the introduction of national standards for organic foods in the us, the fastest growing sector of American agriculture has received a major impetus. The new guidelines stipulate that all us producers selling more than us $5,000 worth of organic agricultural products must be certified by a us department of agriculture (usda)-accredited agency.

Products meeting the certifications will be identifiable by a usda organic seal. "This will be a good thing for consumers and it will give the term organic more legitimacy," says Organic Trade Association (ota) spokesperson Holly Givens and adds: "It will also level the playing field so that imported products sold in the us as organic comply with same standards as those adhered to by domestic goods."

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