Factsheet ‘presence of non-authorized substances’ Link The problem of ‘multiple-source-substances’ at a glance: the ‘polluted’ organic operator bears the burden of proof in establishing the cause and source of the presence of substances that might have multiple causes/sources, including technically unavoidable or perfectly legitimate ones: naturally occurring substances, contaminants present in the environment…etc.
Factsheet ‘Results of industry data collection’ Link 10 companies analyzed 19,256 organic samples in 2022. A total of 3,652 (19%) samples contained quantifiable residues of non-authorized substances. 5 ‘multiple source substances’, which are also naturally occurring/contaminants present in the environment, account for a big share of all positive findings.
Interpreting Articles 28(2) and 29 of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 in accordance with the recognized principles of the EU organic legislation (Neuendorff, Wallau, Dieter, Beck, Nizet) Link According to the authors, two conditions must be met for a ‘presence of a non-authorized product or substance’ to result in a ‘suspicion of non-compliance’: a non-authorised product or substance must in fact be present in the organic product in a quantifiable way, excluding “traces”. At the same time, its presence leads to the assumption that the organic product was not produced or processed in accordance with the production rules laid down in the EU Organic Regulation. Once this is established, ”the presence of a product or substance” results in a “suspicion of non-compliance” and the requirements in accordance with Article 28(2) are to be initiated.
Letter by the European Commission to MEPs Lins & Häusling Link In this letter it is made clear that, in case of presence of non-authorized substance, it is up to the operator to check whether a suspicion can be substantiated.
Letter by the European Commission on the conditions to close an investigation without the source and the cause being determined Link This letter clarifies that a non-conclusive investigation on the source and the cause of the presence of non-authorized substances can only be closed if demonstrated explicitly that all possible means of investigation have been exhausted.
QM-Votum – Professional handling of contaminants in organic food processes Link A platform with all relevant and updated information on individual substances and contaminations that can occur in organic food.