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AnnouncementAugust 30, 2016

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce that an interim instruction on material review was published today and that draft guidance on treated lumber will publish tomorrow in the Federal Register. All interested individuals are invited to provide comments by October 31, 2016.
Draft Guidance & Interim Instruction
Treated Lumber (NOP 5036)
This draft guidance clarifies that using lumber that has been treated with prohibited substances prior to certification does not affect a producer's timeline for obtaining certification, as long as the lumber does not contact crops; it also outlines where treated lumber can be located on organic farms and explains how organic producers can prevent crops and livestock from coming into contact with lumber treated with prohibited substances.  View draft guidance NOP 5036 within the National Organic Program Handbook.

Material Review (NOP 3012)
Intended for USDA accredited certifying agents, this interim instruction, which replaces Policy Memo 11-4, specifies the criteria and process that certifying agents are to follow when approving substances for use in organic production and handling.  View interim instruction NOP 3012 within the National Organic Program Handbook.

Public Comments Welcomed 
The publication of the draft guidance and interim instruction in the Federal Register initiates 60-day public comment periods which end on October 31, 2016.  Starting today, provide comments on NOP 3012.  Starting tomorrow, provide comments on NOP 5036.

Per "Agency Good Guidance Practices" promoted by the Office of Management and Budget, AMS announces draft guidance in the Federal Register to facilitate public comments.  In addition, in response to stakeholder requests for the opportunity to comment on instructions, AMS is also announcing interim instructions and inviting public comments through the Federal Register.
About the Agricultural Marketing Service
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Through its National Organic Program, AMS facilitates trade and ensures the integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world.
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