Targeted regulatory, legislative, and marketing news and information for the organic business community.


NOP compliant microorganisms scheduled to expire in 2016
Posted 50 days ago
NOP compliant microorganisms scheduled to exp…
Mark your calendar for Aug. 19 residue sampling webinar
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Mark your calendar for Aug. 19 residue sampli…
July edition of The Organic Scoop now available
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July edition of The Organic Scoop now availab…
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Thought-provoking State of the Organic Industry discussion among offerings at Expo East

State of the Organic Industry The State of the Organic Industry panel at this year’s All Things Organic Conference will bring a diverse group of influencers together to discuss the current and future state of organic.   Moderator: Samuel Fromartz,  Author & Editor-in-Chief, Food & Environment Reporting Network Anne Alonzo, Administrator, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service [...]

OTA to petition the National List to remove a non-essential synthetic and require organic alternatives

OTA is requesting membership support for the filing of two petitions to the National Organic Program (NOP). Both petitions would amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances that may be used in organic production and handling. The first petition is to revise the current allowance of natural flavors in organic processed products to require organic forms when [...]

Natural Flavors (205.605a)

Natural flavors are allowed in certified organic (95%+) food products in the 5% non-organic portion, provided they are produced without synthetic solvents, synthetic carriers and artificial preservatives. As a general prohibition, they must also be produced without the use of genetic engineering and ionizing radiation. Natural flavors appear on the National List as a broad [...]

Lignin Sulfonate (205.601(l)(1))

Lignin sulfonate is allowed as a floating agent, typically used in post-harvest handling of organic pears. This substance is also allowed as a chelating agent and dust suppressant [7 CFR 205.601(j)(4)] and is commonly seen as an ingredient in “prilled” fertilizing materials like gypsum and lime. The petition for removal that OTA is considering submitting [...]

Member feedback is needed!

OTA is requesting your support. Please let us know if you agree or disagree with OTA’s proposed action to file separate petitions for natural flavors and lignin sulfonate. For questions, concerns, or to express your support for the petition on natural flavors, contact Gwendolyn Wyard, OTA’s Regulatory Director of Organic Standards and Food Safety (503-798-3294). For [...]

OTA to petition the National List

OTA is requesting membership support for filing two petitions to the National Organic Program (NOP). Both petitions would amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for organic production and handling. The first petition is to revise the current allowance of Natural Flavors in organic processed products to require organic forms when commercially available. The second petition is [...]

NASS to expand scope of next organic survey

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) today published a Federal Register notice announcing its intent to expand the scope of its voluntary Organic Production Survey to include questions needed for the five-year Census of Agriculture data series and make it a mandatory Organic Survey. As such, the survey would collect information in 2015 asking for [...]

NOP clarifies use of “organic” brands

The National Organic Program has released instructions clarifying the allowed use of brand or company names containing the word “organic” on agricultural products.  Prompting this were recent investigations indicating the need for consistency by certifiers when reviewing product labels. The policy clarification is needed to provide fairness and equity in label use throughout the organic [...]

Meeting with international researchers

This month The Organic Center and the Organic Trade Association met with international researchers working on organic issues to share information regarding organic studies and areas of research need. The delegation, led by the U.S.-China Business Training Center, included 17 food science researchers from the Zhengzhou University of Light Industry. The Center discussed its wide [...]

Session to look at U.S.-Canada organic equivalence

Among the All Things Organic sessions at Natural Products East will be one exploring the future of the U.S.-Canada organic equivalence arrangement. Canada is the U.S.’s foremost organic trading partner due in no small part to the ground-breaking equivalence arrangement signed between the two nations in 2009. It was the first such equivalency arrangement worldwide [...]