United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 23, 2024

§ 6506.
General requirements
In general
A program established under this chapter shall—
provide that an agricultural product to be sold or labeled as organically produced must—
be produced only on certified organic farms and handled only through certified organic handling operations in accordance with this chapter; and
be produced and handled in accordance with such program;
require that producers and handlers desiring to participate under such program establish an organic plan under section 6513 of this title;
provide for procedures that allow producers and handlers to appeal an adverse administrative determination under this chapter;
require each certified organic farm or each certified organic handling operation to certify to the Secretary, the governing State official (if applicable), and the certifying agent on an annual basis, that such farm or handler has not produced or handled any agricultural product sold or labeled as organically produced except in accordance with this chapter;
provide for annual on-site inspection by the certifying agent of each farm and handling operation that has been certified under this chapter;
require periodic residue testing by certifying agents of agricultural products that have been produced on certified organic farms and handled through certified organic handling operations to determine whether such products contain any pesticide or other nonorganic residue or natural toxicants and to require certifying agents, to the extent that such agents are aware of a violation of applicable laws relating to food safety, to report such violation to the appropriate health agencies;
provide for appropriate and adequate enforcement procedures, as determined by the Secretary to be necessary and consistent with this chapter;
protect against conflict-of-interest as specified under section 6515(g) of this title;
provide for public access to certification documents and laboratory analyses that pertain to certification;
provide for the collection of reasonable fees from producers, certifying agents and handlers who participate in such program; and
require such other terms and conditions as may be determined by the Secretary to be necessary.
Discretionary requirements
An organic certification program established under this chapter may—
provide for the certification of an entire farm or handling operation or specific fields of a farm or parts of a handling operation if—
in the case of a farm or field, the area to be certified has distinct, defined boundaries and buffer zones separating the land being operated through the use of organic methods from land that is not being operated through the use of such methods;
the operators of such farm or handling operation maintain records of all organic operations separate from records relating to other operations and make such records available at all times for inspection by the Secretary, the certifying agent, and the governing State official; and
appropriate physical facilities, machinery, and management practices are established to prevent the possibility of a mixing of organic and nonorganic products or a penetration of prohibited chemicals or other substances on the certified area; and
provide for reasonable exemptions from specific requirements of this chapter (except the provisions of section 6511 of this title) with respect to agricultural products produced on certified organic farms if such farms are subject to a Federal or State emergency pest or disease treatment program.
Wild seafood
In general

Notwithstanding the requirement of subsection (a)(1)(A) requiring products be produced only on certified organic farms, the Secretary shall allow, through regulations promulgated after public notice and opportunity for comment, wild seafood to be certified or labeled as organic.

Consultation and accommodation
In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—
consult with—
the Secretary of Commerce;
the National Organic Standards Board established under section 6518 of this title;
producers, processors, and sellers; and
other interested members of the public; and
to the maximum extent practicable, accommodate the unique characteristics of the industries in the United States that harvest and process wild seafood.
State program

A State organic certification program approved under this chapter may contain additional guidelines governing the production or handling of products sold or labeled as organically produced in such State as required in section 6507 of this title.

Availability of fees

Fees collected under subsection (a)(10) (including late payment penalties and interest earned from investment of the fees) shall be credited to the account that incurs the cost of the services provided under this chapter.


The collected fees shall be available to the Secretary, without further appropriation or fiscal-year limitation, to pay the expenses of the Secretary incurred in providing accreditation services under this chapter.

(Pub. L. 101–624, title XXI, § 2107, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3938; Pub. L. 105–185, title VI, § 601(a), June 23, 1998, 112 Stat. 585; Pub. L. 108–11, title II, § 2105, Apr. 16, 2003, 117 Stat. 589; Pub. L. 113–79, title X, § 10005(b)(2), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 944.)
cite as: 7 USC 6506