Organic on the agenda

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It’s a term you see on labels and in advertising, but what does it mean to consumers? The word is “organic,” and consumer interpretations of organic claims for non-agricultural products is the topic on the agenda at an October 20, 2016, roundtable sponsored by the FTC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich and Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program, will lead off the event at 9:00 ET. Speakers at the roundtable include academics, advocates, industry representatives, and others.

The first panel will consider consumer perceptions – and misperceptions – of the kinds of organic claims that often appear in ads and at retail. Framing the conversation is an August 2016 staff report by the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and Bureau of Economics on a recent consumer perception study co-funded by USDA.

The second panel features perspectives on improving organic claims. The third panel focuses on broader policy approaches to addressing deception. Ginger Jin, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics, will close the half-day event with remarks at 1:00 PM.

Just a reminder that the roundtable will explore consumers’ interpretations of organic claims for products that fall outside the scope of the USDA’s National Organic Program.

The roundtable, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the FTC’s Constitution Center conference facility, 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington. There’s no pre-registration, so plan to arrive in time to get through security before 9:00. If you can’t make it to DC on October 20th, watch via webcast. We’ll post a link on the event page right before the roundtable begins.



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