The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants comments on a proposal for a new industry-funded research and promotion program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking comments on a proposal for a new industry-funded research and promotion program. The proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order would cover certified organic products and would include a range of agricultural commodities such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, breads, grains, snack foods, condiments, beverages, and packaged and prepared foods. It would also include non-food items, such as textiles, personal care products, pet food, and flowers.
Organic imports – both those certified under the USDA organic regulations and those entering the U.S. under an organic equivalency arrangement – would also be covered. Like all USDA R&P programs, the proposed program would establish a framework to pool resources to develop new organic markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities, according to USDA.
A proposed rule with information about the proposed program will be published in the Jan. 18, 2017 Federal Register (http://bit.ly/2k4thYF). A 60-day public comment period, ending on March 20, 2017, will follow the publication of the proposed rule. Comments should be posted on www.regulations.gov or mailed to:

Promotion and Economics Division
SCP, AMS, USDA
Room 1406
Stop 0244
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250-0244

Copies of the proposed rule may be requested from the address above or viewed at .

Should USDA proceed with promulgating a program based on public comments, a referendum would be held to determine whether a majority of eligible domestic producers, handlers and importers support a program prior to it going into effect.
More information about research and promotion programs is available at .