USDA to release records about noncompliant organic operations

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The Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has announced plans to release records that identify operations that have lost certification with the National Organic Program.

The AMS received a request in April 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act for notices of noncompliance with the NOP and records of suspension and revocation of certification and accreditation. The NOP certifying agents issue these notification letters when circumstances warrant.

The AMS will not release confidential business information in the letters such as product formulations, supply sources, sales volumes, yield quantities, acreage of crops or of pasture, and numbers of livestock units.

Additional information is available by contacting Mark Bradley, Associate Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 4008-S, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268; phone, (202) 720-3252; fax, (202) 205-7808; mark [dot] bradleyatusda [dot] gov.