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Comment Opportunity: Sunset 2013 Proposed Rule

Substance listings are scheduled to expire from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances on November 3, 2013. The National Organic Program requests your comments on the Sunset 2013 proposed rule. Some of substances up for renewal are copper sulfate, ozone gas, EPA List 3 Inerts, calcium chloride, agar-agar, and more.

The following substance listings are scheduled to expire ("Sunset") from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances on November 3, 2013. If finalized, this rule would:

Renew the existing allowance for the following substances for 5 years:

  • Copper sulfate (two listings)
  • Ozone gas
  • EPA List 3 Inerts*
  • Calcium chloride
  • Agar-agar
  • Animal enzymes
  • Calcium sulfate
  • Carrageenan*
  • Glucono Delta-Lactone
  • Tartaric acid (made from grape wine)
  • Cellulose* 

Remove the allowance for the following substance, prohibiting its use in organic processed food production:

  • Tartaric acid (made from malic acid)

View Proposed Rule
Submit Public Comments
Deadline: June 3, 2013

Per the Organic Foods Production Act, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) must review all listings on the National List every 5 years and recommend if they should be renewed, changed, or removed. The NOSB is a citizen advisory board that makes recommendations to the USDA about what substances should be allowed and prohibited in organic agriculture.
*For three of the substances identified above, the NOSB recommended more restrictive listings. Per its policy, the NOSB also recommended renewing the existing allowance if the more restrictive listing wasn't feasible.

Specifically, the NOP is concerned that:

  • EPA List 3 Inerts
    Adding an expiration date to this group of substances during the Sunset review would complicate the NOSB's established inerts review process.
  • Carrageenan
    The NOSB's sole justification for the proposed annotation change is on the basis of a food safety concern. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has carefully reviewed the available scientific studies and deemed this long-used ingredient safe in most foods, including infant formula. Learn more about carrageenan
  • Cellulose
    It lacks adequate information on the NOSB's recommended annotation change. The NOP is seeking comments on the use of microcrystalline cellulose through this comment period.

Due to these concerns and the need to address all listings before they expire on November 3, 2013, the NOP is proposing renewing the existing listings for these 3 substances.

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