Law On Organic Farming
The law that governs organic farming is the Organic Foods Production Act and it was first introduced in the Farm Bill of 1990. The main purpose of this law was to ensure that standards across the country were set for production of organic foods and handling of these foods.
Prior to this law being enacted, state and private agencies were in-charge of certifying foods as organic. However, there was no uniform method of certification, and therefore, the term organic was very broad and varied from one state to the next and also from one local certifier to the next.
By having a national standard for identifying organic food meant that there was no confusion for the producers as well as the consumers when it came to a food being labeled as organic.
Furthermore, the Organic Foods Production Act allows states to enact their own laws and standards when it comes to organic foods. The standards followed by states are more stringent than the federal ones, but these standards first have to be endorsed by the USDA.
On enactment of the Organic Foods Production Act, a National Organic Program was established to set standards for organic foods and take care of the certification that is mandatory for all organic produce. The National Organic Program is managed by private organizations and the state, while the federal government does not have a say in it. However, the USDA, is in-charge to oversee the program. The National Organic Program was initially funded by the federal government, but later on the costs were borne by certifying agencies, who had to pay user fees.
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