Posted on September 13, 2018 by Sustainable Food News

Feds release meeting’s organic policy proposals

National Organic Standards Board convenes in St. Paul to discuss oversight of certifiers, genetic integrity of organic seed and organic seaweed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Wednesday released all proposals and discussion documents for the upcoming fall meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the 15-member panel recommending organic policy to the agency’s National Organic Program (NOP).

The meeting is taking place in St. Paul, Minn., from Oct. 24-26 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront.

In addition to recommending policy changes to the NOP, the NOSB also reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances every five years to determine their status in organic production.

The National List identifies the synthetic substances that may be used in organics and the non-synthetic (natural) substances that may not be used in organic crop and livestock production. The list also identifies a limited number of non-organic substances that may be used in or on processed organic products.

The NOSB makes recommendations to remove substances from the National List using the criteria of the substance being harmful to human health or the environment, the substance no longer being necessary due to the availability of a non-synthetic alternative, or the substance’s use being inconsistent with organic farming and handling practices.

Check out the meeting’s tentative agenda.

Five of the NOSB’s six subcommittees – Crops; Livestock; Handling; Materials; Compliance, Accreditation, and Certification; and Policy Development – have agenda items, including:

Materials Subcommittee

  • Proposal: 2018 Research priorities
  • Proposal: Genetic integrity transparency of seed grown on organic land
  • Proposal: Excluded methods determinations October 2018
  • Discussion document: Marine materials (seaweed) in organic crop production

Compliance, Accreditation, & Certification Subcommittee

  • Proposal: Developing criteria for risk-based accreditation oversight
  • Proposal: Training and oversight of inspector and certification reviewer personnel
  • Verbal update: Analysis of feedback from the Spring 2018 import panel

Livestock Subcommittee

  • 2020 Sunset Reviews – Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol; Aspirin; Biologics, vaccines; Electrolytes; Glycerin; Phosphoric acid; Lime, hydrated; Mineral oil; Sucrose octanoate esters

Handling Subcommittee

  • 2020 Sunset Reviews: Calcium carbonate; Flavors; Gellan gum; Oxygen; Potassium chloride; Alginates; Calcium hydroxide; Ethylene; Glycerides (mono and di); Magnesium stearate; Phosphoric acid; Potassium carbonate; Sulfur dioxide; Xanthan gum; Fructooligosaccharides (FOS); Gums: Arabic, Carob bean, Guar, Locust bean; Lecithin – de-oiled; Tragacanth gum
  • Proposal: Sodium chlorite for the generation of chlorine dioxide gas – petitioned
  • Proposal: Silver dihydrogen citrate – petitioned
  • Proposal: Japones pepper – petitioned
  • Proposal: Ethiopian pepper – petitioned
  • Proposal: Tamarind seed gum – petitioned
  • Discussion document: Pullulan – petitioned
  • Discussion document: Collagen gel (casing) – petitioned

Crops Subcommittee

  • 2020 Sunset substances review Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol; Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate; Newspaper or other recycled paper; Plastic mulch and covers; Aqueous potassium silicate; Elemental sulfur; Lime sulfur; Sucrose octanoate esters; Hydrated lime; Liquid fish products; Sulfurous Acid; Ethylene; Microcrystalline cheesewax; Potassium chloride  
  • Proposal: Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) – petitioned
  • Proposal: Sodium citrate – petitioned
  • Proposal: Natamycin – petitioned
  • Proposal: Strengthening the organic seed guidance October 2018
  • Discussion document: Ammonium citrate and Ammonium glycinate – petitioned
  • Discussion document: Calcium acetate – petitioned
  • Discussion document: Paper pots – petitioned

Check out the individual subcommittee proposals here.

Written comments and requests for oral comment speaking slots must be received by midnight on Oct. 4.

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