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2020 Sunset Surveys

Organic Stakeholder Feedback Needed!

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will discuss and vote on whether to continue the allowance of 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 reviewed and voted on by NOSB based on their Sunset timeline (5-year renewal date cycle), 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 Thursday, October 4, 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 will inform the vote NOSB will take at the fall 2018 meeting in St. Paul, MN.

To help facilitate the comment process, OTA has created a survey system for collecting feedback from certified organic 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.


2020 SUNSET REVIEW INPUTS (REVIEWED IN 2018)

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 2020 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.

*Highlighted due to questions/concerns about renewal raised by the public or NOSB during the Spring 2018 Meeting.
 
Crops
§ 205.601 – SYNTHETICS ALLOWED IN ORGANIC CROP PRODUCTION
 
Algicides, sanitizers, pest, weed, and disease control materials

 
Fertilizers, soil amendments, and crop production aids

 
205.602 – NONSYNTHETICS PROHIBITED IN ORGANIC CROP PRODUCTION

 
Livestock
§ 205.603(a) – SYNTHETICS ALLOWED IN ORGANIC LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

 
Handling
§ 205.605(a) – ALLOWED NON-AGRICULTURAL NONSYNTHETICS

 
§ 205.605(b) – ALLOWED NON-AGRICULTURAL SYNTHETICS

  • Alginates: Seaweed derivatives used as stabilizers and water retainers in beverages, ice creams, salad dressings, and confections. Provides heat stable gels.
  • Calcium hydroxide: Used primarily for the manufacture of organic corn tortillas and organic sugar. Does not remain in final production (processing aid).
  • Ethylene: Used for postharvest ripening of tropical fruit and degreening of citrus.
  • *Glycerides (mono and di): Used for drum drying of food such as organic potato flakes. Prevents the potatoes from sticking to the drum. Not present in final product (processing aid).
  • Magnesium stearate: Used as an excipient and flow agent. Binding agent in tablets.
  • Phosphoric acid: Cleaning of food-contact surfaces and equipment only. Used in dairy lines.
  • Potassium carbonate: Cocoa products, (Dutch alkali process). Extractant (often in combination with potassium hydroxide). Boiler water additive.
  • Sulfur dioxide: Allowed only in wine labeled “made with organic grapes,” Provided, That, total sulfite concentration does not exceed 100 ppm. Used to prevent spoilage of wine and to retain color.
  • Xanthan gum: Emulsifier & stabilizer thickener. Allows water and oils to remain mixed together in water-based foods such as dairy products and salad dressings. Also used commonly in organic frostings, cake mixes, cookies beverages, soups, frozen entrees and in juice and fruit spreads.

 
§ 205.606 – ALLOWED NON-ORGANIC AGRICULTURAL INGREDIENTS WHEN ORGANIC IS NOT AVAILABLE

  • *Fructooligosaccharides (CAS # 308066–66–2): Added to foods as non-digestible carbohydrates and selective energy sources for species of probiotic bacteria in the gut. Used to increase the growth and activity of probiotic bacteria in the lower digestive tract for the benefit of human health.
  • *Gums—water extracted only (Arabic; Guar; Locust bean; and Carob bean):
  • *Lecithin - de-oiled: Wide range of food application, which includes emulsification, release properties, wetting, dispersing, and texturization (margarine, chocolates, instantizing powders, release sprays, and baked goods).
  • *Tragacanth gum: used as a thickener and emulsifier. Effective at low pH and at many temperatures; its stability at low pH is noted as one of its distinguishing characteristics and is commonly used in high acid products like salad dressings.

 
Learn more about the Sunset Review Process
 


Contact 

Gwendolyn Wyard
Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
(503) 798-3294
 
Johanna Mirenda
Farm Policy Director
(202) 812-7704
 

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