• On February 15, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) published a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (the “National List”) for crops and handling based on April 2018 recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). See 84 FR 4377. The National List, codified at 7 CFR 205.601 through 205.606, identifies synthetic substances that may be used and natural substances that may not be used in organic crop and livestock production as well as a limited number of non-organic substances that may be used in or on organic processed products. Under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the National List can be amended by the Secretary based on recommendations developed by the NOSB.
  • USDA’s proposed rule would amend the National List to implement three NOSB recommendations, submitted to the Secretary on April 27, 2018. The proposed changes would allow:
    • Elemental sulfur to be used as a slug or snail bait to reduce crop losses.
    • Polyoxin D zinc salt to control fungal diseases when other organic fungicides have been found to be less effective.
    • Magnesium chloride to be reclassified from a synthetic to a non-synthetic substance, requiring handlers to ensure that the product complies with the non-synthetic classification by obtaining details about the source of the magnesium chloride and its full manufacturing process.
  • The comment period for the proposed rule ends on April 16, 2019.