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2019 Surveys


Organic Stakeholder Feedback Needed!

Your feedback is needed! NOSB is in the process of reviewing several of the fertilizers, pest control products, livestock treatments, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use by certified organic operations. These production and handling inputs will be voted on by NOSB for continued listing based on their Sunset timeline (renewal date), and may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with organic production.

It’s critical that organic stakeholders weigh in by the Wednesday, October 11, comment deadline and explain whether these inputs are consistent with and necessary for organic production, or whether there are other effective natural or organic alternatives available. The information you provide now will inform the vote NOSB will take at the fall 2017 meeting in Jacksonville, FL.

To help facilitate the comment process, OTA has created a survey system for collecting feedback from certified farms and processors. The information collected will significantly help NOSB identify the inputs that should be renewed or removed from the National List. Below are links to electronic surveys that can be used to submit feedback on each individual input currently under NOSB review. Each survey is CONFIDENTIAL, and contains about 10 short questions that will take an estimated five to 10 minutes to complete. The information collected will be passed along to NOSB via OTA’s comments.


The National List inputs below are undergoing a reorganization process that will result in a more evenly distributed Sunset Review workload over the five-year Sunset Review cycle. The process is the result of an NOSB recommendation unanimously passed at the fall 2016 NOSB meeting. Please note that as explained in the NOSB recommendation, National List inputs that are reviewed early under the reorganization plan should be allowed to sunset on their original timeline. For example, if NOSB votes to remove a National List item under the 2019 review cycle that was originally under the 2017/2022 Sunset Review cycle, the removal of the item from the National List would not occur until 2022. This situation applies to all of the inputs listed below EXCEPT Biodegradable Bio-based Mulch.



Algicides, sanitizers, pest, weed, and disease control materials

  • Chlorine Materials (Calcium Hypochlorite, Chlorine Dioxide, Sodium Hypochlorite) - Used to disinfect tools, prevent spread of diseases, and increase food safety of organic products.
  • Herbicides, soap-based - For use in farmstead maintenance (roadways, ditches, right of ways, building perimeters) and ornamental crops.
  • Biodegradable bio-based mulch film - As defined in §205.2. Must be produced without genetically modified organisms or feedstock derived from excluded methods.
  • Boric acid - Used for structural pest control, but cannot come into contact with organic food or crops.
  • Sticky traps/barriers - Used to monitor for pest populations issues in organic fields.
  • Copper sulfate - Used for pest and disease control and as a fertilizer to correct copper deficiencies in soil.
  • Coppers, fixed - Used for disease control.

Fertilizers, soil amendments, and crop production aids

  • Humic acids - Used as a fertilizer and soil amendment.
  • Micronutrients – (i) Soluble boron products, (ii) Sulfates, carbonates, oxides, or silicates of zinc, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and cobalt - Used as a fertilizer when testing shows deficiencies.
  • Vitamin B1, C, and E - Used as a fertilizer and soil amendment.




  • Chlorine Materials (Calcium Hypochlorite, Chlorine Dioxide, Sodium Hypochlorite) - Used for sanitizers and disinfectants. Residual chlorine levels in the water shall not exceed the maximum residual disinfectant limit under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • Chlorhexidine - Used as an antiseptic and teat dip when alternatives have lost efficacy.
  • Glucose - Used to treat ketosis and hypoglycemia.
  • Oxytocin - Used in post-parturition therapeutic applications (e.g. retained placenta).
  • Tolazoline - Used to reverse the effects of Xylazine after surgical procedures.
  • Copper sulfate - Used as hoof bath to treat foot conditions.
  • Lidocaine - Used as a local anesthetic.
  • Procaine - Used as a local anesthetic.



  • Attapulgite - Used as a processing aid and functions as a natural bleaching clay for the purification of vegetable and animal oils.
  • Bentonite - A colloidal clay (aluminum silicate) that has a high swelling capacity in water. Used as a filtering aid, as a thickener and as a colorant in wine.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (food filtering aid only) - Used for filtering numerous organic food and beverage products.
  • Nitrogen - Keeps cans rigid in still juice. Excludes oxygen from sealed containers. Used in flash freezing of foods. The nitrogen dissipates into the air after freezing and does not remain in the food product.
  • Sodium carbonate - Baking soda. Used in prepared pancake biscuit and muffin mixes; a leavening agent in baking powders; in various crackers and cookies; to adjust acidity in tomato soup, in pastes and beverages; in syrups for frozen products; in confections and self-rising flours. Used also as a neutralizer for butter, cream mild and ice cream.


  • Acidified sodium chlorite: Used as a secondary direct antimicrobial food treatment and indirect food contact surface sanitizing. Under consideration by FDA as a sprouting seed disinfectant.
  • Chlorine Materials (Calcium hypochlorite, Chorine dioxide, Sodium hypochlorite) - For disinfecting and sanitizing food contact surfaces and as a sanitizer in the handling and processing of organic crops.
  • Carbon dioxide - Used in the storage of grains for pest control and for freezing of foods and accelerated cooling. Beverage carbonation. Extraction of essential oils and extracts. Controlled atmospheric packaging.
  • Magnesium chloride (derived from sea water) - Coagulant in tofu manufacturing. Firming agent in canned vegetables.
  • Potassium acid tartrate - Used in many types of organic baked goods as a leavening agent. Used as part of aluminum free baking powder, along with sodium bicarbonate and cornstarch.
  • Sodium phosphates (for use only in dairy foods) - Used as an emulsifier in organic cheese products.


  • Casings, from processed intestines. Processed intestines of hogs, cattle and sheep. In most instances, the casing is consumed with the product; however, in some cases, the casing is removed.
  • Konjac flour - Used as a gelling agent and stabilizer/thickener; its functional properties are similar to those for food ingredients such as gelatin, pectin, modified starches and vegetable gums. Also classified by USDA-APHIS as a binder in meat and poultry products.
  • Pectin (non-amidated forms only) – Used as a stabilizer and thickening agent. Used in jams and jellies. Also in fruit preparations for yogurt and bakery fillings. Can be used in salad dressings, malted milk beverages, and frozen fruit products.

Summary of 2019 Sunset Inputs under Review Learn more about the Sunset Review Process