The Organic Food Production Act of 1990 required that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) develop national standards for organic products. In 1997, the USDA released its first draft of National Organic Program rule. At this time, they proposed that certified organic products be allowed to use genetically modified organisms (GMOs.) The outcry against this was so great, however, that they abandoned the idea.
In the year 2000 the National Organic Program (NOP) published their “Final Rule” in the Federal Register. By 2002 the only products that were allowed by law to use the term “organic” were those certified organic according to the standards published by the USDA NOP.
Since 2002 the standards and list of approved and unapproved ingredients and products that are allowed has changed, as governed by the National Organic Standards Board.
See: The Organic Watergate: Corporate Influence at the USDA’s National Organic Program to find out more about who sits on the board determining U.S. organic policy.
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