Emergency Pest or Disease Treatments

From time to time, federal or state authorities implement emergency pest or disease treatment requirements that mandate the use of materials that are prohibited for use in organic production. The USDA National Organic Program standards contain a specific provision regarding this. See below.

Under this standard, applications made under a formal emergency treatment mandate with no organic alternatives can result in loss of the current crop for 36 months, but not the operation’s certification.

Please review our Emergency Treatments and Certification flyer for more information, FAQs, and instructions regarding what to do if you’re affected by an emergency treatment mandate.

§ 205.672 Emergency pest or disease treatment.

When a prohibited substance is applied to a certified operation due to a Federal or State emergency pest or disease treatment program and the certified operation otherwise meets the requirements of this part, the certification status of the operation shall not be affected as a result of the application of the prohibited substance: Provided, That:

(a) Any harvested crop or plant part to be harvested that has contact with a prohibited substance applied as the result of a Federal or State emergency pest or disease treatment program cannot be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced; and

(b) Any livestock that are treated with a prohibited substance applied as the result of a Federal or State emergency pest or disease treatment program or product derived from such treated livestock cannot be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced: Except, That:

(1) Milk or milk products may be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced beginning 12 months following the last date that the dairy animal was treated with the prohibited substance; and

(2) The offspring of gestating mammalian breeder stock treated with a prohibited substance may be considered organic: Provided, That, the breeder stock was not in the last third of gestation on the date that the breeder stock was treated with the prohibited substance.

More information about this and other pests can be found in the CCOF blog under "pests and pesticides."

CDFA has additional information and specific details on quarantine and eradication zones that are updated regularly as pests are found or other mandates are implemented.

If you have questions not specifically about your certification, such as treatment options or current discussions with CDFA, please contact policy@ccof.org.