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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Start Preamble May 4, 2007.

The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), OIRA_Submission@OMB.EOP.GOV or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Agricultural Marketing Service—Farm Service Agency

Title: National Organic Program.

OMB Control Number: 0581-0191.

Summary of Collection: The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, Title XXI of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (Farm Bill), U.S.C. Title 7 Section 6503(a) mandates that the Secretary of Agriculture develop a national organic program. The purposes of the regulation mandated by OFPA are: (1) To establish national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products; (2) to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard; and (3) to facilitate interstate commerce in fresh and processed food that is organically produced. The National Organic Program (NOP) regulation fulfills the requirements of the OFPA. It includes comprehensive production and handling standards, labeling provisions, requirements for the certification of producers and handlers, accreditation of certifying agents by USDA and an administrative subpart for fees, State Programs, National List, appeals, compliance and pesticide residue testing. Agricultural Marketing Service will approve programs for State governments wishing to establish State Organic Programs.

Need and Use of the Information: The information collected is used to evaluate compliance with OFPA and NOP for administering the program, for management decisions and planning, for establishing the cost of the program and to support administrative and regulatory actions in response to non-compliance with OFPA. Certifying agents will have to submit an application to USDA to become accredited to certify organic production and handling operations. Auditors will review the application, perform site evaluation and submit reports to USDA, who will make a decision to grant or deny accreditation. Producers, handlers and certifying agents whose operations are not approved have the right to mediation and appeal the decision. Reporting and recordkeeping are essential to the integrity of the organic certification system.

Description of Respondents: Farms; Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; State, Local or Tribal Government.

Number of Respondents: 16,095.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually; Recordkeeping.

Total Burden Hours: 635,520.

Start Signature

Charlene Parker

Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-8875 Filed 5-8-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P