Organic Trade Association
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association that focuses on the organic business community in North America. OTA's mission is to promote ethical consumerism, promoting and protecting the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. OTA is a member of The International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) and The International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard.
Since 1998, the OTA has extensively lobbied regulatory agencies. The OTA had a total of $316,150 in lobbying expenditures for 2013. In 2012, the OTA spent a total of $369,494 on lobbying expenditures. Between 1998-2014, the OTA invested over $1.5 million into lobbying. Agencies typically lobbied by the OTA include: U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Management and Budget, and the Food & Drug Administration.
The OTA has been widely criticized for being an agent of big business interests working to undermine the credibility of the organic movement. The OTA Rider attached to the Agriculture Appropriations Act, which the USDA approved, and passed before Congress in 2006, opened the door for non-organic, non-agricultural, and synthetic additives in food products bearing the "organic" label. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) derided the OTA’s “sneak attack.” The OCA stated, “In the broadest and most basic sense, the OTA rider takes away the organic community’s leading role in setting and monitoring organic standards for processed organic foods, and instead places this power in the hands of the USDA and industry” (OCA 2005a).
- GOTS homepage http://www.global-standard.org/about-us.html