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Old 11-16-2010, 03:12 PM   #1
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Default National Organic Program

National Organic Program

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/NOPProgramHandbook
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Goals:
The goal of the Program Handbook is to provide those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. The Handbook includes two types of documents: 1) guidance, which provides interpretations of NOP statutory or regulatory requirements, and 2) instructions, which informs Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs) and certified operations about best practices for conducting business related to certification, accreditation, international activities, and compliance and enforcement. It is our intention to expand this project over time by issuing draft guidance on additional topics, soliciting public comment, and finalizing new guidance for inclusion in the Handbook.
Program Handbook News Releases and Announcements:The handbook is accessible at www.ams.usda.gov/NOPProgramHandbook. Printed copies can be made available upon request to the Standards Division, National Organic Program, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 2646-S, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, D.C. 20250-0268; telephone: (202) 720-3252; fax: (202) 205-7808.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:22 PM   #2
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Default What Is Organic? USDA Trying to Define It

What Is Organic? USDA Trying to Define It
Nov 7, 2010
Dave Thier

What Is Organic? USDA Trying to Define It
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"Organic" is intended to mean agricultural products produced without hormones, pesticides, artificial fertilizers or other synthetic additives. But purists have long argued that the USDA standards contain numerous loopholes that have allowed factory-style farms to operate under the letter, if not the spirit, of the organic law. Now, both the industry and the government are grappling with how to bring meaning back to "organic."

Fred Kirschenmann, a North Dakota farmer and distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, served on the National Organic Standards Board when it was establishing the standards for the USDA organic seal.

Early on, Kirschenmann argued that an organic farm shouldn't be able to "degrade the health of the soil." But when the board gave that to USDA lawyers, they told it to change the language...
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