The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has
announced the availability of five draft guidance documents for National
Organic Program (NOP) certifying agents and certified operations. The
documents cover the following topics: (i) Compost and Vermicompost in
Organic Crop Production (NOP 5021); (ii) Wild Crop Harvesting (NOP 5022);
(iii) Outdoor Access for Organic Poultry (NOP 5024); (iv) Commingling and
Contamination Prevention in Organic Production and Handling (NOP 5025);
and (v) The Use of Chlorine Materials in Organic Production and Handling
(NOP 5026). Once finalized, the guidance will become available through
“The Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying
Agents (ACAs) and Certified Agents,” which provides “those who own,
manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that
can assist them with complying with the [NOP] regulations.” To this end, NOP
will accept written comments on the drafts until December 13, 2010. See The
Federal Register, October 13, 2010.

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