Sunday

28th May 2017

EU and US roll out gold standard for 'organic' food

Organic goods produced in the United States and in Europe will be sold and certified under the same "organic" label in both markets after a trade deal signed on Wednesday (15 February).

Previously, both European and US farmers had to obtain separate certifications. A European farmer, for instance, wishing to sell organic food in the US would have had to obtain a US "organic" label and vice-versa.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Ciolos called it a step forward in EU-US "agricultural relations" (Photo: wikipedia)

Under the new deal, which is to be launched in June, producers on both sides of the Atlantic will have one standard and one certificate issued by existing US or EU national authorities.

Meats, cereals, and wines receiving organic certification in one region can be sold as organic in the other.

"Organic farmers and food producers will benefit from easier access, with less bureaucracy and less costs, to both the US and the EU markets, strengthening the competitiveness of this sector," said EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos in Nuremberg, Germany where the deal was inked.

The organic industry in the US and Europe is worth a combined €40 billion a year.

According to the European Commission, both regions account for 90 percent of global organic consumption. In the EU, the market had a six percent annual growth in the past decade.

Ambassador Isi Siddiqui, a senior US trade representative, said the new deal would "lead to more jobs in this important sector for both America and Europe."

The two sides agreed that each other's standards were almost identical after two years of inspections.

But slight variations mean not all organic produce can be freely exported.

US organic pears and apples, for instance, do not qualify. Nor do some EU organic meats and fish, which are sometimes exposed to antibiotics - strictly prohibited under the new agreement.

All organic products will have a label identifying where they are from and who certified them so that regulators can track compliance with the new regime.

EU imposes stiff controls to block Chinese GM rice

EU member states have slapped rigid new controls on all imports of Chinese rice products in the wake of ever-increasing detection of products 'contaminated' with unauthorised genetically modified rice.

Focus

Nanofoods - Coming to a plate near you?

Chocolate that doesn't make you fat. Drinks designed by the press of a button. 'Meat' made from plant protein. Welcome to nanofoods - a brave new world that industry is keen to exploit. But will Europeans ever take to it?

Portugal held up as symbol of EU recovery

Portugal to sail out of troubled waters after eight years of financial crisis, EU commission predicted, amid broad but "fragile" recovery in European economy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms