Organic Agriculture in the United States: Program and Policy Issues [Updated February 15, 2008]   [open pdf - 124KB]

From the Summary: "Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) in 1990 as part of a larger law governing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs from 1990 through 1996 (P.L. [Public Law] 101-624, the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990). The act authorized the creation of a National Organic Program (NOP) within USDA to establish standards for producers and processors of organic foods, and permit such operations to label their products with a 'USDA Organic' seal after being officially certified by USDA-accredited agents. The purpose of the program, which was implemented in October 2002, is to give consumers confidence in the legitimacy of products sold as organic, permit legal action against those who use the term fraudulently, increase the supply and variety of available organic products, and facilitate international trade in organic products. […] Several provisions affecting organic agriculture and the NOP are included in the House- and Senate-passed versions of the 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419). Among the provisions likely to appear in the final bill are a cost-sharing and technical assistance program to help farmers and processors convert from conventional to organic production; reauthorization of the cost-share program to help producers, handlers, and processors obtain certification under the NOP; mandatory funding for improved data collection and analysis on the organic sector; and increased mandatory funding to support the organic agriculture research and extension initiative. This report will be revised as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31595
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