The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) has issued a final rule revising the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances with regard to the use of tetracycline, formic acid and attapulgite during the production and processing of organic crops and food ingredients.  

According to NOP, the most recent iteration of the National List permitted the use of tetracycline “for fire blight control only” in apple, pear and other organic fruit crops until October 21, 2012. The final rule has amended the National List to specify that the substance can be used to control fire blight in apple and pear crops only and to extend the expiration date until October 12, 2014.  

In addition, NOP has added formic acid to the National List “solely for use as a pesticide within honeybee colonies” to suppress infestations of Varroa mites and approved attapulgite, a substance generally regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration “when used as an adjuvant for pesticide chemicals,” “as a processing aid in the handling of plant and animal oils.” The final rule took effect August 3, 2012.