Resources: Labels and Laws

Agencies and Laws


Several government agencies, programs and laws ensure foods labeled as organic meet stringent production standards. This is who and what controls organic production and labeling.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for laws involving farming, agriculture, forestry and food. They oversee organic food production regulations.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating all packaged foods (including processed produce like applesauce) but raw fruits and vegetables are regulated by USDA.

National Organic Program (NOP) is run by USDA and is responsible for developing national standards for organically-produced agricultural products.

National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is an advisory board to USDA. It includes 15 volunteers from the organic community and makes recommendations on issues surrounding organic food production.

Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) was enacted in 1990, authorizing NOP to set national standards for organically grown food and establishing NOSB to advise the Secretary of Agriculture in setting NOP standards.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) is a USDA agency that supports farms. FSA can help farms with the cost of transitioning to organic, organic certification and other factors in organic farming.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a USDA agency that assists farmers who want to make conservation improvements to their land.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is run by NRCS to assist to farmers in implementing conservation practices that improve soil, water, plants, animals, air and natural resources. This program can help conventional farms transition to organic practices.


See Also

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Organic FAQ

Labels and Laws

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