Organic Agriculture in the United States: Program and Policy Issues [Updated April 13, 2007]   [open pdf - 130KB]

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. […] Most of the major organic industry groups would like Congress to consider significant policy reforms when it takes up consideration of new, omnibus farm legislation in 2007. The policy recommendations that various groups have issued include proposals to facilitate producers' and manufacturers' transition to organic production and processing; to significantly improve organic sector production, marketing, and trade data collection and analysis; to expand scientific and economic research related to organic agriculture; and to improve organic producers' access to existing programs in conservation, marketing, and risk management. This report will be revised as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31595
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