Cambios al Programa Orgánico bajo el Proyecto de Ley Agrícola

by Holland & Knight LLP
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[co-author: Barbara Efraim, Law Clerk]

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La Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos presentó los Principios Legales del Proyecto de la Ley Agrícola. El Proyecto fue lanzado la semana pasada, y en su forma actual, enmienda la autoridad de acreditación orgánica del Departamento de Agricultura (USDA) bajo la Ley de Producción de Alimentos Orgánicos de 1990, 7 U.S.C. 6501 y otros, e impone requisitos más estrictos de mantenimiento de documentos.

En particular, el Proyecto extendería el programa del sello orgánico al otorgarle la autoridad de supervisión y aprobación al USDA sobre los agentes certificadores que otorgan etiquetas orgánicas a las granjas y operaciones de manejo de países extranjeros.1 Además, el Proyecto requeriría que cada agente certificador que opera en países extranjeros sujetos a esta nueva propuesta renueve su autorización cada año. Esta es un cambio significativo del período actual de acreditación de cinco años para todos los agentes certificadores en virtud de la Ley de Producción de Alimentos Orgánicos.2

La versión actual del Proyecto impondría más requisitos de mantenimiento de documentos. Se requeriría que todas las partes de una investigación del USDA compartan información comercial confidencial con las agencias federales y estatales responsables.3 Además, el USDA, actuando a través del Programa Nacional Orgánico (NOP), estaría autorizado a exigir documentación adicional o verificación antes de otorgar la etiqueta orgánica.4 El USDA también tendrá acceso a los datos de los sistemas de documentación transfronteriza administrados por otras agencias, incluidas la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) y el Servicio de Inspección de Sanidad Animal y Vegetal (APHIS).5 Entre otras cosas, el USDA tendrá acceso a certificados fitosanitarios mediante el uso de los sistemas de otras agencias, algo a lo que antes no tenía acceso.

El Congreso recibirá un informe anual que describe las actividades del NOP en relación con todas las investigaciones nacionales y extranjeras y las medidas de cumplimiento.

A medida que tengamos más información, Holland & Knight continuará monitoreando los desarrollos de la Ley Agrícola 2018 a medida que avanza en el proceso legislativo.


Notes

1 Sección 9006(a) del Proyecto de Ley Agrícola.

2 7 USC 6514(c).

3 Sección 9006(e) del Proyecto de Ley Agrícola.

4 Sección 9006(e). NOTA: El Proyecto limita estos pedidos a los casos de “una zona de riesgo existente o cuando hay una zona específica de preocupación en canto a los estándares consistentes de la producción orgánica."

5 Sección 9006(e).

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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