Does CCOF Perform Pesticide Residue and GMO Testing?

« Return to all FAQs


Yes. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 requires certification agencies to perform residue testing of organic product. Such testing acts as a deterrent to fraud and helps to prove to organic customers that the standards are upheld and that organic really does mean something. CCOF is granted the authority to collect samples for testing by the National Organic Program regulations section 205.670. Refusing to allow the inspector to take samples for testing may result in adverse action against your certification with CCOF.

The sample will be sent to a USDA accredited laboratory, either for a broad screen pesticide residue analysis that includes hundreds of pesticides, or for GMO presence. Most of the testing CCOF conducts is for pesticide residue analysis on organic crops or products; GMO testing may be conducted on at risk commodities. You will not be charged for the laboratory analysis. CCOF will cover it.

When the lab sends CCOF the results of the samples we collected, we will notify you of the results, which will be available on MyCCOF. As required by law, the results will also be provided to the USDA National Organic Program, the California State Organic Program (if you are located in CA) and will be made available to the public upon request.

If the samples test positive, CCOF will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the residues. If it is determined that the residues were not a result of willful violation and the residues are less than 5% of the EPA tolerance for that crop, the crop may be sold as organic. If the residues are over 5% of the EPA tolerance, crop may not be sold as organic.