September 15, 2015

TO: JPA Members

FROM: Patricia Faison

JPA Regulatory Update: National Organic Standards Board Review of Substances on the National List - Input Requested by September 21, 2015

On September 10, 2015,JPA notified members that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had published a Federal Register notice (80 FR 53759; September 8, 2015), available here, announcing the next meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) would be held October 26-29, 2015 in Stowe, Vermont. It was also reported that the NOSB would consider substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (the National List) that will sunset (i.e., their use will expire) in 2017. The list of substances for review is included in the meeting agenda, available here.

Handling Subcommittee

Below is the list of the substances for use in organic processed products that are subject to sunset in 2017. Details regarding each of the substances subject to the NOSB review may be accessed here. JPA previously submitted comments to the USDA requesting that certain substances (bolded below) be maintained on the National List. A copy of JPA's comments submitted to the USDA in 2012 is available here.

Section 205.605(a) Nonagricultural (Nonorganic) Substances Allowed as Ingredients in or on Processed Products Labeled as "Organic" or "Made with Organic" (Specified Ingredients or Food Group(s))" - Nonsynthetics allowed: Acids (Alginic*, Citric and Lactic); Attapulgite; Bentonite; Calcium carbonate; Calcium chloride; Dairy cultures; Diatomaceous earth; Enzymes; Flavors**; Kaolin; Magnesium sulfate; Nitrogen; Oxygen; Perlite; Potassium chloride; Potassium iodide; Sodium bicarbonate; Sodium carbonate; Waxes: Carnauba***; Waxes: Wood rosin; Yeast.

Section 205.605(b) - Synthetics allowed: Acidified sodium chlorite; Alginates; Ammonium bicarbonate; Ammonium carbonate; Ascorbic acid; Calcium citrate; Calcium hydroxide; Calcium phosphates (monobasic, dibasic and tribasic); Carbon dioxide; Chlorine materials (Calcium hypochlorite; Chlorine dioxide; and Sodium hypochlorite); Ethylene; Ferrous sulfate; Glycerides (mono and dibasic); Glycerin; Hydrogen peroxide; Magnesium carbonate; Magnesium chloride; Magnesium stearate; Nutrient vitamins and minerals; Ozone; Phosphoric acid; Potassium acid tartrate; Potassium carbonate; Potassium citrate; Potassium phosphate; Sodium citrate; Sodium hydroxide; Sodium phosphates; Sulfur dioxide; Tocopherols and Xanthan gum.

Section 205.606 Nonorganically Produced Agricultural Products Allowed as Ingredients in or on Processed Products Labeled as "Organic"

Casings; Celery powder; Chia (Salvia hispanica L.); Colors (various)****; Dillweed Oil; Fish oil; Fructooligosaccharides; Galangal (frozen); Gelatin; Gums (Arabic, Guar, Locust bean, Carob bean); Inulin (oligofructose enriched); Kelp; Konjac flour; Lecithin - de-oiled; Lemongrass (frozen); Orange pulp, dried; Orange shellac (unbleached); Pectin (non-amidated forms only); Peppers (chipotle chile); Seaweed, Pacific kombu; Starches, Cornstarch (native), Sweet potato; Turkish bay leaves; Wakame seaweed (Undaria pinnatifida); and Whey protein concentrate.

In addition, the Handling subcommittee is proposing the following:

* - The Handling subcommittee proposes that Alginic Acid remain on the National List. However, the subcommittee is proposing to change the listing from 205.605(a) to 205.605(b) due to the determination that Alginic Acid would likely be classified as synthetic under the new draft Classification of Materials document.

** – The Handling subcommittee proposes to revise the Flavors annotation to read: “Non-synthetic flavors may be used when organic flavors are not commercially available. All flavors must be derived from organic or nonsynthetic sources only, and must not be produced using synthetic solvents and carrier systems or any artificial preservative.”

*** - The Handling subcommittee is proposing to classify Carnauba Wax as agricultural and move its listing to section §205.606 (Nonorganically Produced Agricultural Products).

****- The Handling subcommittee is proposing to remove the following 13 colors from Section 205.606 (Nonorganically Produced Agricultural Products) as these colors are now available in organic form: Black/Purple Carrot Juice color; Blueberry Juice color; Carrot Juice color; Cherry Juice color; Chokeberry/Aronia Juice color; Elderberry Juice color; Grape Juice color; Grape Skin Extract color; Purple Potato juice color; Red radish Extract color; Saffron Extract color; Turmeric Extract color; and Paprika color. The following four colors are not commercially available in organic form and will be recommended to remain on the National List: Beet Juice extract color, Blackcurrant Juice color, Pumpkin Juice color and Red Cabbage extract color.

The Handling subcommittee is also proposing to add Sodium Lactate and Potassium Lactate to the National List under section §205.605(b) (Synthetic: Nonagricultural (Nonorganic) Substances) for use as an antimicrobial agent only.

Crops Subcommittee

Below are the substances for use on crops that will sunset in 2017. In previous comments submitted to the USDA, JPA requested that certain substances (bolded below) be maintained on the the National List.

Section 205.601 - Synthetic Substances Allowed for Use in Organic Crop Production

Alcohol (Ethanol and Isopropanol); Chlorine materials (Calcium hypochlorite; Chlorine dioxide; Sodium hypochlorite); Hydrogen peroxide; Soap-based algicide/demossers; Herbicides (soap-based); Newspaper or other recycled paper; Plastic mulch and covers; Soaps, ammonium; Ammonium carbonate; Boric acid; Elemental sulfur; Lime sulfur; Oils (horticultural); Soaps (insecticidal); Sticky traps/barriers; Sucrose octanoate esters; Pheromones; Vitamin D3; Coppers, fixed; Copper sulfate; Hydrated lime; Potassium bicarbonate; Aquatic plant extracts; Humic acids; Lignin sulfonate; Magnesium sulfate, Micronutrients (Soluble boron products; Sulfates, carbonates, oxides, or silicates of zinc, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and cobalt); Liquid fish products; Vitamin B1; Vitamin C; Vitamin E; Ethylene; Sodium silicate; EPA List 4-Inerts of Minimal Concern; and Microcrystalline cheesewax.

Section 205.602 - Nonsynthetic Substances Prohibited For Use in Organic Crop Production

The NOSB will review the continued prohibition of the following nonsynthetic substances: Ash from manure burning; Arsenic; Lead salts; Potassium chloride; Sodium fluoaluminate; Strychnine; and Tobacco dust.

The Crops subcommittee is proposing to remove Lignin Sulfonate from §205.601(l)(1) of the National List for use as a floating agent in postharvest handling.

The subcommittee is also proposing to classify sulfuric acid as synthetic as petitioned, at §205.601.

In addition, the subcommittee is proposing to classify Brown Seaweed Extracts as petitioned as synthetic.

Submission of Comments

The deadline to submit written comments to the NOSB is October 5, 2015. Staff recommends that JPA submit comments to the NOSB similar to those submitted to the Agency in 2012 and requesting that the bolded substances above be maintained on the National List. Please provide your input to me by the close of business on September 21, 2015 regarding this proposed direction. If there are additional comments that should be incorporated into JPA's letter, please notify me by September 21. If there is no input opposing this proposed direction, comments will be drafted and forwarded to JPA members for review in the near future.

As always, please contact me with questions or comments.

Patricia Faison

(404) 252 - 3663

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