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National Organochlorine Residue Management program

The National Organochlorine Residue Management (NORM) program began in 1995 to manage the risk of persistent chemicals being detected in beef products. The presence of organochlorine (OC) contaminants in animal tissues can lead to trade restrictions in international markets.

The program operates under an agreement between the Australian Government; the agriculture or primary industry departments in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia; and other organisations such as the Australian Meat Industry Council, AUSMEAT Limited, the Cattle Council of Australia and the Australian Lot Feeders Association.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • minimise the risk of cattle with OC residues above the Australian Maximum Residue Level from being slaughtered for human consumption
  • support effective property management plans for all identified OC-affected properties
  • facilitate property risk assessment for producers seeking quality assurance accreditation (e.g. under the Livestock Production Assurance program) and assist with the development of auditable property management plans as required
  • ensure all samples for OC residues in beef for domestic and export markets are compliant with the National Residue Survey random monitoring program.

The program emphasises on-farm quality assurance and relies less on abattoir testing.