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United States Department of Agriculture

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In the produce industry there are many legal governing bodies that have control over how the industry is run. These legal bodies differ from country to country. In the case of the United States the main regulators consist of the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture, and Congress. Other minor legal bodies are states themselves, which have different rules and regulation for agriculture in each state.

The USDA is mostly in charge of certifying and grading the quality food products. For the fruit and vegetable market this means that the USDA is in charge of certifying products with their "USDA-Organic" seal of approval. The USDA's Organics Rule set national standards for the production, processing, and handling of organically grown produce. This rule was published on December 21, 2000 and has been in effect since 2001. The USDA also grade the quality of fruit and vegetables into the categories of fancy, fresh, poor, and so on. Currently there are 312 fruit, vegetable, and specialty product standards that the USDA looks for. (USDA, 2009) The United States Department of Agriculture also has a subsidiary called The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The FSIS is in charge of the control of deadly micro-organisms in food. They are in charge of such events that have occurred as the E-coli outbreaks on spinach and other fruits and vegetables.

Congress is also a major rule maker in the produce industry. They have created regulations mainly to help protect the safety of consumers. The Food and Drug Administration is an organization that is controlled by congress. Their job is monitor the safety of food going to consumers. They also have created such regulations as the Coordinated Framework. "Under the Coordinated Framework, FDA regulates bioengineered plant-derived food in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)." (Brackett, 2005)

Congress has also passes regulations that have affected the produce market and other forms of agriculture. These include such regulations as Agricultural Research Act of 1935, the Research and Marketing Act of 1946, the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, the Food Security Act of 1985, and the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990.

Technology

Advances in technology in the fruit and vegetable industry include such items as bioengineering and precision agriculture are creating the major advances. This new technology enables agricultural production to enhance nutrition, help save and protect the environment, and make sure the food supply is safe.

Biotechnology offers great promise in increasing production efficiency, improving food quality, and enhancing nutritional value. The definition of biotechnology is stated as, "a range of tools, including traditional breeding techniques, that alter

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