Defra has launched a consultation on how organic food should be tested for prohibited substances such as pesticides.

Organic production in the UK is tightly regulated by European Union legislation, but there is little guidance on exactly what procedure should be followed when testing organic produce. This means different testing regimes are used by different organic bodies in the UK.

Defra has therefore come up with draft guidance which, if adopted, would introduce a consistent approach to testing across the entire UK organic sector.

A Defra spokeswoman said consumers needed to be confident they were buying organic goods that had been tested properly.

“We want to have a process that is clear and consistent, so that standards are the same across the UK, regardless of who has tested the produce.”

The consultation runs until 21 December and is available through the Defra website here.