Except as otherwise provided by law, each commodity board established under the supervision and oversight of the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to a commodity promotion law shall, not less often than every 5 years, authorize and fund, from funds otherwise available to the board, an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the generic commodity promotion programs and other programs conducted by the board pursuant to a commodity promotion law. The board shall submit to the Secretary, and make available to the public, the results of each periodic independent evaluation conducted under this subsection.
The Secretary shall annually provide to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate information on administrative expenses on programs established under commodity promotion laws.
Notwithstanding any provision of a commodity promotion law, a person that produces, handles, markets, or imports organic products may be exempt from the payment of an assessment under a commodity promotion law with respect to any agricultural commodity that is certified as “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in part 205 of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation)).
The exemption described in paragraph (1) shall apply to the certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in part 205 of title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation)) products of a producer, handler, or marketer regardless of whether the agricultural commodity subject to the exemption is produced, handled, or marketed by a person that also produces, handles, or markets conventional or nonorganic agricultural products, including conventional or nonorganic agricultural products of the same agricultural commodity as that for which the exemption is claimed.
This subsection shall be effective until the date on which the Secretary issues an organic commodity promotion order in accordance with subsection (f).
The term “covered person” means a producer, handler, marketer, or importer of an organic agricultural commodity.
If the Secretary issues an organic commodity promotion order described in paragraph (2), a covered person may elect, for applicable dual-covered agricultural commodities and in the sole discretion of the covered person, whether to be assessed under the organic commodity promotion order or another applicable agricultural commodity promotion order.