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US: NOP actions underway on OIG international trade audit report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducts independent audits and investigations of the Department's programs and operations.

The OIG published findings from its audit on "National Organic Program International Trade Arrangements and Agreements." OIG began its review of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) in early 2016.

The audit evaluated NOP’s internal controls for approving and overseeing international trade arrangements and agreements that allow organic imports into the United States.

OIG Audit Report Findings
OIG recommended that the NOP strengthen oversight controls and offered nine recommendations to build on existing NOP policies and procedures. These recommendations focus primarily on the process used to determine:
  • whether a countries’ organic standards are equivalent to USDA’s organic standards, and
  • if organic imports comply with USDA’s organic standards.
NOP Response
Protecting the integrity of organic products in the United States and throughout the world is the NOP’s core mission. In its response to the OIG audit report, NOP:
  • accepts the OIG’s findings,
  • outlines several projects already underway by NOP staff to improve oversight, and
  • references related actions OIG recommends be taken by other agencies.
View the report here.

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