Summary: H.R.3871 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3871. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (09/28/2017)

Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017

This bill amends the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 to reauthorize through FY2023 and modify the Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP).

USDA must modernize the international trade tracking and data collection systems of the NOP, which must include ensuring that trade and transaction certificates are fully traceable without unduly hindering trade. The bill authorizes mandatory funding to be used for this purpose and for maintaining previous database and technology upgrades.

The bill modifies requirements for recordkeeping, investigations, and enforcement with respect to the organic certification process to:

  • allow parties to an active investigation to share confidential business information with government officers or employees and certifying agents involved in the investigation,
  • require federal agencies that administer cross-border documentation systems to provide USDA with access to the data from the systems,
  • allow the NOP to grant an accredited certifying agent the authority to require additional documentation or verification before granting certification, and
  • require USDA to issue regulations limiting the type of operations that are excluded from certification.

With respect to the accreditation process for certifying agents, the bill: (1) authorizes USDA to oversee and approve certifying agents operating in a foreign country, and (2) requires certifying agents that intend to operate in a foreign country to be annually authorized.