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How Consumers Can File Complaints About Organic Label Claims

Organic certification gives consumers a label they can trust. The presence of the USDA organic and/or CCOF seal on a product guarantees food has been grown and produced according to federal organic standards. If you see a potential violation, we encourage you to file a formal complaint.

Ensure your complaint reaches the correct authority.

CCOF takes all complaints seriously. To ensure your complaint reaches the correct authority: 



Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can I file a complaint? 

Yes. Anyone who believes they have evidence of a violation of the USDA organic regulations can file a complaint. 

What information should I provide? 

Provide as much information as you can. The more detailed you are when submitting a complaint, the easier the alleged violation will be to investigate. If you wish to provide your name and contact information, the investigators can follow up with you, and you will be notified when the case is closed. (Your identity will remain confidential and will be protected to the greatest extent permissible by law.) 

What’s an example of a complaint? 

For example, if you suspect a violation of organic regulations on a product’s label, you could submit a complaint for: 

  • Using the USDA organic seal without being certified organic 
  • Using the word “organic” on the front of the package when the ingredients are organic, but the entire product is not certified organic 
  • Using the USDA organic seal on a multi-ingredient product that only has a small amount of organic ingredients (less than 95 percent of the total product) 

In these cases, please provide: 

  • Brand name of the product 
  • Certifying agent of the product 
  • Any lot numbers (or “best by / before” dates) on the product 
  • Name of the product manufacturer or distributor 
  • Detailed explanation of the identified regulatory violation 
  • Actual product package or copy of the product label 

What happens after I submit a complaint? 

The National Organic Program (NOP) or the California Department of Food and Agriculture (for California complaints) will review your complaint and determine how to proceed. This may include coordinating a thorough investigation with the operation’s certifying agent. If the suspected violation is confirmed, the operation could be subject to financial penalties of several thousands of dollars for each violation or suspension or revocation of its organic certificate. 

File a complaint using the NOP Online Complaint Portal. 

Phone: 202-720-3252
Fax: 202-205-7808 

Mail: NOP Compliance and Enforcement Branch
Agricultural Marketing Service
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Mail Stop 0268, Room 2642-S
Washington, D.C. 20250-0268 

See for more information.