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USDA Amends the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances in Organic Production

Robert and Greta Miernau farm, Caledonia, Minnesota. Photo by Diane Collins. © MCIA.

The Organic Foods Production Act created the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) as a tool for managing the substances used in organic production over time. In general, natural substances are allowed in organics and synthetic substances are prohibited. The National List identifies the limited exceptions to these general rules. The National List also identifies nonagricultural and nonorganic agricultural substances (ingredients) that may be used in organic handling. Changes to the National List require a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendation and USDA rulemaking, a process that provides multiple opportunities for public comment.

On February 28, 2022, USDA published a final rule in the Federal Register amending the National List for substances scheduled to sunset in 2022, based on NOSB recommendations and public input.

National List Amendments: 2022 Sunsets final rule

This final rule addresses recommendations from previous NOSB public meetings to remove:

One substance currently allowed in organic crop production: Vitamin B1.

One substance currently allowed in organic livestock production: procaine.

Fourteen nonorganic ingredients (including eight nonorganic colors) currently allowed in organic handling:

  • Alginic acid;
  • Colors (black currant juice color, blueberry juice color, carrot juice color, cherry juice color, grape juice color, paprika color, pumpkin juice color, turmeric extract color);
  • Kelp;
  • Konjac flour;
  • Sweet potato starch;
  • Turkish bay leaves; and
  • Whey protein concentrate.

Based on public comment, this rule also renews the allowance for:

  • Sucrose octanoate esters for use in organic crops, and livestock production.
  • Oxytocin for use in organic livestock production.

This final rule is effective March 30, 2022.

To view the complete text of the Final Rule, please visit:


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