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USDA clarifies organic produce residue tests

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has clarified the rules governing pesticide residue testing of organic agricultural produce. Accredited agents will have to conduct annual residue testing at a minimum of 5% of the operations that they certify. The new requirement takes effect on January 1st 2013. The AMS clarified the residue testing requirement of the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act this month following a 2010 audit of four certifying agents that found that none were conducting periodic testing. The AMS subsequently informed certifying agents of their residue testing obligations and issued a proposed rule to that effect last year.

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