Organic Program Regulation

Couple of things I recently received.  First, I do like to highlight the quarterly reports from the NOP on enforcement.  As you can see in the picture there are 476 cases in progress and the bulk are uncertified operations saying they are organic.  I run into this all the time!  Folks think that because they use an organic practice or just believe in organics that they are automatically organic. 

            Second, there is this story from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota.

Cottonwood County Farmer Charged with $46 Million Organic Grain Fraud Scheme

MINNEAPOLIS – A Jeffers, Minnesota man has been indicted for defrauding grain purchasers by selling non-GMO grains falsely labeled as organic. According to court documents, between 2014 and 2020, James Clayton Wolf, 64, a certified organic farmer, engaged in a scheme to defraud grain purchasers by selling them non-GMO grains falsely represented as organic. Wolf, who did not hold a legally required grain buyer’s license, repeatedly purchased non-organic corn and soybeans from a grain seller and resold the grain as organic product. As part of his scheme, Wolf also grew conventionally farmed crops using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in violation of organic farming standards. 

Wolf provided grain purchasers with copies of his National Organics Program certification but withheld the material fact that the grains were not organically farmed. As a result of his fraud scheme, Wolf received more than $46,000,000 in payments from grain buyers.

Author: Bob Whitney, Regents Fellow & Extension Organic Specialist

Agriculturalist, extension educator and researcher, organic agriculture enthusiast and promoter, international program developer, Christian, husband, father and friend.

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