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USDA has requested an audit of its troubled National Organic Program (NOP) by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The NOP has been under fire in recent years due to controversies over synthetic additives in processed organic products, non-organic fish meal use in aquaculture, and delays in issuing standards for pasture access and other regulatory initiatives. However, the NOP audit, which is scheduled to begin in October and take several months, isn't a response to the recent criticisms. Rather it is required by the program's authorizing legislation, the National Organic Products Act of 1990.
Regardless, Mark Kastel, …