• As previously discussed on this blog, there is a National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (the “National List”) for synthetic and nonsynthetic nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances that may be used in organic handling, and nonsynthetic substances prohibited from use in organic farming under the National Organic Program (NOP) administered by the United Stated Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The National List is codified at 7 CFR 205.601 through 205.606 and items on the list must be reviewed at least every five years. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is responsible for reviewing the substances and providing a recommendation to the Secretary of USDA to either renew or remove (only available if 2/3 or more of the members of the NOSB vote to remove at a meeting with a quorum of members) substances on the National List. AMS, which has been delegated the authority to manage the National List by the Secretary, considers the NOSB recommendation and public comment before making its decision. For more background, see our blog posts here, here, here, here and USDA resources
  • The NOSB held public meetings to discuss the substances that were sunsetting in 2019 on April 19-21 and October 31 – November 2, 2017. There were five substances reviewed that have already been addressed by AMS (see our blog posts here and here) and on October 8 AMS announced that 24 additional substances on the National List would be renewed without change. The substances include:
    • Chlorine materials: Calcium hypochlorite, Chlorine dioxide, Sodium hypochlorite (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production and organic livestock production)
    • Herbicides, soap-based (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production)
    • Mulches: Biodegradable biobased mulch film (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production)
    • Boric acid (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production)
    • Sticky traps/barriers (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production)
    • Coppers, fixed (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production)
    • Copper sulfate (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production and organic livestock production)
    • Humic acids (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production)
    • Vitamins, C, and E (synthetic substance permitted in organic crop production)
    • Lead salts (nonsynthetic substances prohibited from use in organic crop production)
    • Tobacco dust (nicotine sulfate) (nonsynthetic substances prohibited from use in organic crop production)
    • Glucose (synthetic substance permitted in organic livestock production)
    • Tolazoline (CAS # 59-98-3) (synthetic substance permitted in organic livestock production)
    • Attapulgite (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Bentonite (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Diatomaceous earth (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Nitrogen (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Sodium carbonate (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Acidified sodium chlorite (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Carbon dioxide (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Magnesium chloride (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Sodium phosphates (Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic”)
    • Casings (Nonorganically produced agricultural products allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic”)
    • Pectin (Nonorganically produced agricultural products allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic”)
  • AMS is also reviewing the NOSB recommendations to remove vitamin B1, oxytocin, procaine, and konjac flour from the National List. Such changes will be announced in a separate rule.