USDA Announces 2017 Sunset Review Proposed Rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will publish in the Federal Register tomorrow a proposed rule to implement the 2017 sunset review recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).

Based on the NOSB's recommendations, the USDA is proposing to remove three synthetic substances and eight nonorganic agricultural products from the National List for use in organic production and handling.

Access: 2017 Sunset Review Proposed Rule

Upon removal from the National List, use of the 11 substances in organic production or handling would be prohibited. The prohibitions would take effect on the sunset date of June 27, 2017.

Public comments on the 2017 Sunset Review Proposed Rule must be received by March 20, 2017.

Interested persons may comment on the proposed rule using the following procedures

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Search for AMS-NOP-16-0052 and then follow the instructions for submitting comments. (Available January 18)
  • Mail: Robert Pooler, Standards Division, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2642-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268.

The NOSB, a 15-member Federal advisory committee appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, must review all substances every 5 years in the National list of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List).

The National List identifies the synthetic substances that may be used in organic crop and livestock production. The USDA organic regulations allow most natural substances and prohibit synthetic substances in organic farming, except those included on the National List. The National List also identifies the nonagricultural and nonorganic agricultural substances that may be allowed as minor ingredients (5% or less of total ingredients) in processed organic products.

Access: Notice to Trade.