WHAT IS THE NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM
USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) is a marketing regulation. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service oversees this program and utilizes accredited certifying agents to verify compliance by organic producers. NOP regulations govern what products are “100 percent organic,” “organic,” and “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).”
WHAT IS USDA’S NATIONAL LIST
The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances specifies the allowed and prohibited materials for organic crop and livestock production.
CAN PESTICIDES BE USED AT ORGANIC FACILITIES
Facilities that produce organic products may use pesticides when using a stepwise approach. In addition, implementing protective measures to preserve the organic integrity of organic products following the Facility Pest Management Practice Standard. IFC can help document pest activity and recommend appropriate pesticides to combat the pest. Your organic certifier will want to see the use of pesticide applications only as needed, based on documented pest activity. All pesticides utilized must be part of your approved organic system plan. The certifier will review your plan. Your certifying agent will need to see to adequate protective measures and agree to the selected pesticides.
- Preventive Practices: The organic certifying agent will need to see that you implemented appropriate preventive practices before utilizing pesticides. Good pest management programs incorporate preventive practices on a daily basis, such as exclusion, sanitation, controlling temperature, lures and traps. Inspection of traps can serve as a monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of preventive practices. Furthermore, it demonstrates to the certifier the need for chemical solutions.
- Non-synthetic Substances and Materials Consistent with the National List: If pest problems continue after implementing preventive practices, discuss with your certifier new directions. For example, the use of a non-synthetic non-prohibited pesticide or a synthetic substance consistent with the National List. Remember that pesticide products must be registered in the state where used. In addition, some granular/dust formulations are not appropriate for use in food handling facilities.
- The pest problem may persist after implementing preventive practices, non-synthetics and materials consistent with the National List. After that, you may need a conventional pesticide treatment. The NOP contains recordkeeping requirements for certified operations. Records for pesticide applications need to disclose all application activities in sufficient detail (understandable, audited and demonstrating compliance). Such records might consist of pesticide application records, pest-monitoring logs, inspection reports or documentation that previous treatment measures were ineffective. Your facility pest management plan should include plans for use of pesticides. For example, the conditions for their use and measures to prevent pesticide contact with the organically produced products or ingredients.