Chemical Trespass in the organic production context is defined as any USDA NOP prohibited substance and/or restricted use pesticide, herbicide, fungicide, or insecticide that intentionally or unintentionally causes a positive contamination event. You may also wish to review steps required for prevention in this Purdue University Driftwatch PDF.
The presence of prohibited pesticides in organic products must be less than the allowed threshold set by the USDA NOP. The National Organic Program defines residues as “too high” when they are greater than 5 percent of the EPA’s tolerance for the pesticide. See the Resources page for more information.
Pesticides are regulated under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Under FIFRA, the state has primary enforcement responsibility.
GMO contamination is the positive transfer of engineered genes to wild or cultivated versions of the same plant by intentional or unintentional events. Transgenic (aka genetically modified) crops is the primary source of genetic contamination to organic crops. You may also wish to review steps for prevention through the USDA AMS office PDF publication
The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products.
Contamination or cross-contamination of organic food and feed is defined as organic raw food for human consumption or animal feed that is positively contaminated with a prohibited substance or non-organic product of any kind during a processing, work-in-process, or storage event. This also includes honey and wax made by worker bees. You may wish to refer to steps for prevention in this PDF “Organic Food Processing Basics” by the Minnesota Dept of Ag.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of chemical trespass or GMO contamination, you will need to know how to respond quickly and properly. You will need to get yourself well “educated” on how to proceed. This site provides you a list of educational resources to help you make informed decisions in regard to prevention and recovery action based on our own experiences with two certification agencies and three contamination cases – 2 chemical and 1 GMO. Visit the “Steps” page at this site for suggested list of steps to follow if you are involved in a chemical trespass event.
If your body is sprayed or drifted on and/or you inhale the pesticides, call the Sanford Poison Control Center immediately to report it at 1-800-222-1222.
We do not give legal advice or even organic farming advice. We are not consultants.