Falsely representing products as certified USDA organic violates the law and federal organic regulations. Using fraudulent documents to market, label, or sell non-organic agricultural products as organic is punishable by financial penalties of several thousands of dollars fines for each violation (see 7 CFR 3.91(i)(b)(xxxvi)).
Certifying agents and organic operations should continue to guard against these practices and practice caution when purchasing products from suppliers. Anyone suspecting a violation of the regulations can report a complaint to the NOP Compliance and Enforcement Division.
Fraudulent certificates may have been created and used without the knowledge of the operator or the certifying agent named in a certificate. The posting of fraudulent certificates does not necessarily mean that the named operator or certifying agent was involved in illegal activity. If an operation named in a fraudulent certificate is certified, its certifying agent identified in the list of certified operations can provide additional information and verifications to the organic trade.
Reported Fraudulent Organic Certificates
The NOP has compiled a list of information about fraudulent certificates that have been publicly announced into an easy-to-search spreadsheet. You can view PDF versions of the certificates by clicking on the operation names.