The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted on maintaining or removing over 200 materials currently allowed by the National Organic Program at a meeting October 26-29 in Stowe, VT. The vote resulted in 11 materials being removed from the National List.
Materials listed as approved in the National Organic Program (NOP) standards are subject to review every five years, at which time the NOSB board can vote to either a) relist them as allowed or prohibited or b) remove them from the organic standards. In addition, the board will review petitions for materials to be added, removed or amended.
QAI staff provided written and in-person comments during this review process. We included statistics on the number of clients using various materials as evidence of their necessity to remain on the list.
After two meetings with opportunity for public comment, the NOSB voted to remove the following materials which will no longer be allowed in organic production or handling:
- Lignin sulfonate when used as a flotation aid
Livestock 205.603 and 205.605:
Handling 205.605 and 205.606:
- Magnesium carbonate
- Dillweed oil
- Galangal, frozen
- Inulin-oligofructose enriched
- Lemongrass, frozen
- Peppers (chipotle chili)
- Turkish bay Leaves
- Whey protein concentrate
In addition, the NOSB approved a petition to amend the current allowance for natural flavors. The amendment will require organic operators to source a certified organic flavor if available before being approved to use a non-organic natural flavor. This commercial availability requirement applies to food manufacturers using flavors as well as to organic flavor manufacturers.
The board considered a petition to list sodium lactate and potassium lactate on section 205.605(b) but no vote was taken. The materials were referred back to the sub-committee for further evaluation.
A vote was taken to reclassify carnuba wax as agricultural and move its listing to 205.606. Once finalized, operators using carnuba wax will be subject to commercial availability requirements and attempts to first source certified organic carnuba wax will also be required.
Before any of these change take effect, the USDA National Organic Program will publish a final rule in the Federal Register. The anticipated effective date for the removal of the 11 materials is June 27, 2017. There may not be any grace period beyond that date to cease using those materials and come into compliance. QAI recommends our clients begin evaluating the impact on their operations and prepare to make the necessary changes when the final rule is published.
For a detailed list of meetings results and presentation, download the NOSB Report Fall 2015.
If you have any questions about your certification, please contact your QAI Certification Project Manager.