The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) authorized the formation of a National Organic Program (NOP) to establish organic standards, and to require and oversee mandatory certification of organic production. NOP has the responsibility to implement organic standards with substantial input from its citizen advisory board and the public. NOP also accredits state agencies and private organizations that certify organic producers and handlers, and oversees enforcement of the standards. The USDA’s role is to act as overseer to the Program.
NOP Crop, Livestock and Handling Standards
Organic Crop Standards:
Organic Livestock Standards:
Organic Processed Products Standards:
Organic Food Labeling
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed four categories of organic labels, based on the percentage of organic content in a product.
These NOP resources help certifying agents comply with residue testing requirements:
Final Rule Proposed Rule Memo to Certifying Agents Pilot Pesticide Report: Validated Testing Model How Samples Should be Collected Laboratory Requirements Target List of Prohibited Pesticides How to Respond to Positive Residues
These OTA resources help certifying agents comply with residue testing requirements:
How to File a Complaint
Anyone who suspects a violation of the USDA organic regulations can file a complaint. When you report an alleged violation, provide as much information as possible to help ensure a thorough investigation. NOP will review your complaint and determine how best to proceed. This may include coordinating a thorough investigation with the operation’s certifying agent. If you provide your contact information, the NOP will contact you when the case is closed.
Key NOP Resources
Senior Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
Senior Crops & Livestock Specialist