The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has reportedly submitted two petitions to the National Organic Program (NOP) requesting changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for organic processing and handling. Citing recent innovations, OTA has asked NOP to strengthen the rules governing natural flavors in certified products to require the use of organic flavors when commercially available. The group has also moved to strike lignin sulfonate from the list “as an allowed flotation agent in postharvest handling of organic produce.”

In particular, OTA argues that “the number of organic flavors in the marketplace is now substantial,” negating the need for many natural flavors that must still be made without the use of synthetic solvents, synthetic carriers, artificial preservatives, genetic engineering, or irradiation. The association also notes that innovations in organic pear handling have rendered lignin sulfonate obsolete, especially since the National List already includes an alternative floating agent preferred by most handlers. “OTA supports the rigorous process that has been established for adding or removing materials from the National List,” said OTA’s CEO and Executive Director Laura Batcha. “The process encourages organic stakeholders to be innovative and tenacious to find organic inputs that are most compatible with organic principles. The changes to the National List that OTA is requesting are a result of the organic industry embracing new ideas and blazing new trails.” See OTA Press Release, November 7, 2014.