The National Organic Program (NOP) is the federal regulatory framework in the United States of America governing organic food. It is also the name of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) program responsible for administering and enforcing the regulatory framework. The core mission of the NOP is to protect the integrity of the USDA organic seal. The seal is used for products adhering to USDA standards that contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
The NOP covers fresh and processed agricultural food products.
The key activities of the National Organic Program are to:
· Maintain the Organic Integrity Database, a listing of certified organic operations, and help new farmers and business learn how to get certified
· Develop regulations and guidance on organic standards
· Manage the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
· Accredit certifying agents to certify organic producers and handlers
· Facilitate the work of the National Organic Standards Board, a Federal Advisory Committee
· Provide training to certifying agents, USDA staff, and other stakeholders
· Engage and serve the organic community
· Investigate alleged violations of the organic standards and bring violators to justice
. ICERT performs examination of farmers and issues a vital examination certificate
NOP regulations cover in detail all aspects of food production, processing, delivery and retail sale. Under the NOP, farmers and food processors who wish to use the word organic in reference to their businesses and products, must be certified organic.