The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) has prepared a handbook that provides guidance and instructions for those who own, manage or certify organic businesses.  

In addition to federal regulations and recordkeeping requirements, the firstedition handbook covers topics that include: (i) “the allowance of green waste in organic production systems”; (ii) “approval of liquid fertilizers in organic production”; (iii) “certification of organic yeast”; (iv) “processed animal manures in organic crop production”; (v) “reassessed inert ingredients”; and “the calculation of dry matter intake for NOP’s access to pasture requirements.” See USDA Press Release, September 2, 2010.  

In a related development, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has reportedly issued new NOP enforcement procedures to ensure that “all complaints of alleged violations and civil penalties are consistently handled.” NOP will now work with accredited certifying agents to investigate complaints about alleged violations, in addition to handling enforcement. “The changes we are making will ensure that all parties are given due process while increasing the effectiveness of enforcing organic standards,” stated NOP Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy in a September 1, 2010, press release.