Regulation by Proxy
How the USDA Relies on Public, Nonprofit, and For-Profit Intermediaries to Oversee Organic Food in the U.S.
The United States Department of Agriculture has an unusual method for regulating organic food. For example, although the USDA's National Organic Program sets organic standards through administrative rulemaking, it relies on independent "accredited certifying agents" from across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to monitor organic farms and food processors for standards compliance. Regulation by Proxy summarizes what I've learned about the USDA's regulation of organic food through over six years of research, including the insights that the case offers for understanding decentralized regulation, more broadly.