January 01, 2012

Renewable Agriculture: Transgenic Contamination and Patent Enforcement Threats

Christina L. Nargolwala

Organic farming systems rely on ecologically based practices such as cultural and biological pest management, and exclusion of all synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones in crop and livestock production. For agricultural products to be labeled or represented as organic, farms must be in compliance with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations. USDA’s National Organic Program regulates any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced. See National Organic Program, 7 C.F.R. pt. 205 (2000). Organic certification may be suspended or revoked for noncompliance; indeed, USDA publishes a list of producers whose organic certification has been suspended or revoked.

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