WASHINGTON, August 3, 2011--The National Organic Program published a final rule today continuing the use of 12 substances in organic production and handling that were scheduled to sunset later this year.
Under the sunset provisions of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances must undergo review by the National Organic Standards Board, an independent body of organic industry and stakeholder representatives, and seek renewal by the Secretary of Agriculture.
The rule (see Federal Register, keyword AMS_FRDOC_0001-0820) reflects the recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board to continue allowing the use of select substances in organic agriculture. Effective Sept. 12, 2011, the following synthetic substances will continue to be allowed for use in organic crop production:
- ferric phosphate (CAS # 10045-86-0)-as slug or snail bait
- hydrogen chloride (CAS # 7647-01-0)-for delinting cotton seed for planting
Additionally, the following nonsynthetic, nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances will continue to be allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as "organic" or "made with organic [specified ingredients or food groups(s)]":
- egg white lysozyme (CAS # 9001-63-2)
- L-Malic acid (CAS # 97-67-6)
- Microorganisms-any food grade bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms
In the category of synthetic, nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances in or on processed products labeled as "organic" or "made with organic [specified ingredients or food groups(s)]," the following will continue to be allowed:
- activated charcoal (CAS #s 7440-44-0; 64365-11-3)-only from vegetative sources; for use only as a filtering aid
- cyclohexylamine (CAS # 108-91-8)-for use only as a boiler water additive for packaging sterilization
- diethylaminoethanol (CAS # 100-37-8)-for use only as a boiler water additive for packaging sterilization
- octadecylamine (CAS # 124-30-1)-for use only as a boiler water additive for packaging sterilization
- peracetic acid/peroxyacetic acid (CAS # 79-21-0)-for use in wash and/or rinse water according to FDA limitations. For use as a sanitizer on food contact surfaces
- sodium acid pyrophosphate (CAS # 7758-16-9)-for use only as a leavening agent
- tetrasodium pyrophosphate (CAS # 7722-88-5)-for use only in meat analog products
Renewing these substances supports the continuation of current organic production and handling practices. The National Organic Standards Board reviews these and all substances on the National List to ensure compatibility with sustainable agriculture, minimal adverse impact on the environment and on humans, and essentialness to organic production with consideration of alternative, biologically-based substances.
The National List is a subpart of the USDA's organic standards that identifies synthetic substances that may and nonsynthetic (natural) substances that may not be used in organic production. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and National Organic Program regulations specifically prohibit the use of any synthetic substance in organic production and handling unless the synthetic substance is on the National List.
The National Organic Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture facilitates trade and ensures integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing the organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations.
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