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August 22, 2013

The National Organic Program (NOP) is requesting public comments on a proposed rule to allow three substances in organic crop production and handling.

Additionally, researchers may want to consider submitting a proposal for the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Interagency Program.

Proposed Crops and Handling Substances

Based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, the NOP is proposing allowing three substances in organic crops and handling:

1. Biodegradable biobased mulch film

  • Farmers wouldn't need to remove the biodegradable mulch at the end of the growing season, reducing waste and farm worker labor costs.
  • Mulch couldn't contain genetically modified ingredients and would need to meet other requirements.

2. Nonorganic curry leaves (Murraya koenigii)*

3. Nonorganic Citrus hystrix leaves and fruit*

*Allows handlers to use the non-organic form of the ingredient only if organic form isn't commercially available in the appropriate form, quality or quantity to replace its use.

View Proposed Rule

Deadline: October 21, 2013

Researchers: Request for Applications

The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program is looking to fund research on the ecological, evolutionary, and socio-ecological principles and processes that influence the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases.

The central theme of submitted projects must be quantitative or computational understanding of pathogen transmission dynamics.

Approximately $11 million will be available in this Fiscal Year 2014 program, which is jointly managed by:

  • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health

View Details and Apply
Deadline for full proposal: November 20, 2013 

About the National Organic Program (NOP)

The NOP facilitates trade and ensures integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world. The NOP is part of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, which facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Learn more.

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The NOP Organic Insider informs the organic community on a wide range of NOP functions, including organic standards, accreditation and international activities, compliance and enforcement, the National Organic Standards Board, training events, and the Cost Share program.

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