PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department is amending chapter 16-157 WAC in the following manners:
• To clarify standards and application process for operations producing and handling crops and products intended to be exported to international markets.
• To clarify requirements and application process for operations producing and handling transitional crops and products.
• Remove the organic mushroom standards from chapter 16-157 WAC.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 15.86 RCW, Organic food products and chapter 34.05 RCW, Administrative Procedure Act.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: RCW 15.86.010 lists the purposes of the Washington state department of agriculture (WSDA) organic food program which include "providing access for Washington producers, processors, and handlers to domestic and international markets."
RCW 15.86.070(1) states "the director may adopt rules establishing a program for certifying producers, processors and handlers as meeting state, national, or international standards for organic or transitional food."
Revision of chapter 16-157 WAC is needed to:
1. Provide further clarification for application requirements for international and transitional certification.
2. Clarify labeling requirements.
3. Remove redundancies and contradictions with the national organic standards by retracting the WSDA organic mushroom standards.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the organic certification of products sold, represented or labeled within the United States under the national organic program. The USDA does not regulate organic products exported to foreign countries.
Process for Developing New Rule: Proposed rule language will be developed by the WSDA organic food program staff with assistance from the program's advisory committee.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Marty Beagle, WSDA Organic Program Manager, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504, firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 20, 2010
Robert W. Gore