Over the years there have been cases of substances that are not permitted in organic production being detected in organic products. The EU organic Regulations provide little guidance on the procedures that should be adopted when testing for such substances and the actions that should be taken where they are detected.
Defra wishes to produce guidance for UK organic Control Bodies and for operators on the procedures for testing products for prohibited substances so that a clear and consistent approach towards testing is adopted across the UK. This includes guidance on when organic products may be tested, the types of testing that may be undertaken, the procedures for taking samples, the procedures that should be followed where a prohibited substance is detected and the exchange of information between different parties.
A public consultation on draft guidance for operators and organic Control Bodies was launched in September 2012 and closed on 21 December 2012. Defra is in the process of considering the responses and will factor these in when making a final decision on the guidance.