Standards & Policy Updates

Stay tuned to this page for updates to NOP publications, NOSB meeting announcements, and PCO policy updates. To receive updates directly from the NOP, subscribe to the Organic Insider!

 

  • February 13, 2014: NOP Publishes Instruction on Who Needs To Be Certified
    • This instruction clarifies the certification requirements for operations that produce or handle agricultural products to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic. Click here for a Q & A about this instruction.

 

  • January 22, 2014: NOP Publishes Instruction on Reinstating Suspended Organic Operations
    • This instruction provides procedures for certifiers and suspended organic operations to request certification reinstatement.

 

 

 

  • December 16, 2013: NOP Publishes Policy Memo on Humic Acid Extraction
    • This document clarifies which materials are allowed for humic acid extraction under NOP regulations for synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production.

 

 

  • October 3, 2013: NOP Publishes Final Rule to Amend National List (Processing)
    • This final rule addresses several listings on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for crops and processing that were scheduled to expire this year (Sunset 2013 Materials). Tartaric Acid made from malic acid is removed from 205.605(b) effective November 3, 2013. Listings for copper sulfate, ozone gas, EPA List 3 inerts, calcium chloride, agar-agar, animal enzymes, calcium sulfate, carrageenan, glucono delta-lactone, tartaric acid made from grape wine, and cellulose are renewed without change.

 

 

  • September 26, 2013: NOP Announces Equivalency Agreement With Japan
    • Beginning January 1, 2014, organic products certified in Japan or in the United States may be sold as organic in either country.

 

  • September 16, 2013: NOP Publishes New Sunset Review Process

    • The NOP and NOSB will follow these procedures to meet the sunset provision of the Organic Foods Production Act. The sunset provision requires the NOSB to review National List materials every five years. Click here to download the Q&A.

 

  • September 5, 2013: NOP Publishes Response to Spring 2013 NOSB Recommendations
    • This memorandom responds to recommendations made at the April 9-11, 2013 business meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

  • August 6, 2013: NOP Publishes Policy Memo on Evaluation of Materials
    • This updated memo clarifies how the NOP will resolve instances when material evaluation programs disagree on the allowance of a specific generic input.

 

  • August 2, 2013: NOP Publishes Instruction on Internal Program Review
    • This instruction clarifies the procedure to be used by certifiers when conducting internal program reviews as required by NOP accreditation.

 

 

 

  • July 23, 2013: FDA Publishes Draft Guidance on Poultry Outdoor Access
    • The FDA has published draft guidance to address how FDA’s Egg Safety Rule applies to producers that provide outdoor access to poultry. Comments are due to the FDA by September 24.

 

 

  • May 28, 2013: NOP Publishes Amendment to National List (Crops and Processing)
    • This final rule amends the allowance of Potassium hydroxide, Silicon Dioxide, and Beta-Carotene in food processing, and Peracetic Acid in crop production. This final rule also prohibits the use of non-organic annatto extract color in processed foods.

 

  • May 10, 2013: NOSB Publishes Final Recommendations
    • Transcripts and committee recommendations from the most recent NOSB Meeting (April 9-11 in Portland, OR) are now available.

 

  • May 3, 2013: NOP Publishes Proposed Rule to Amend National List (Crops and Processing)
    • Affected materials include copper sulfate, ozone gas, EPA List 3 inerts, calcium chloride, agar-agar, animal enzymes, calcium sulfate, carrageenan, glucono delta-lactone, tartaric acid, and cellulose. Comments due June 3, 2013.

     

  • April 8, 2013: NOP Publishes Instruction on Technical Assistance (NOP 2614) that certifying agents and inspectors may provide to organic producers and handlers.

 

 

 

 

  • March 1, 2013: NOP Publishes Guidance on Use of Kelp in Organic Livestock Feed
    • This final guidance document (NOP 5027) clarifies that any kelp used in organic livestock feed must be certified organic. A phase-in period until March 4, 2014 will allow operations that are not currently in compliance with this requirement to update their organic system plans and source organic kelp.

 

 

 

    • This memorandum responds to recommendations made at the October 25-18, 2012 business meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

 

 

 

 

  •  November 15, 2012: NOSB Publishes Final Recommendations
    • Transcripts and committee recommendations from the most recent NOSB meeting (October 2012 in Providence RI) are now available.

 

 

  • September 28, 2012: NOP Publishes Response to May 2012 NOSB Recommendations
    • This memorandum responds to recommendations made at the May 22 to 25, 2012 business meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

  • September 27, 2012: NOP Publishes Interim Rule on Vitamins and Minerals in Organic Products
    • This rule renews, without change, the listing of nutrient and minerals on the National List at 205.605(b). Additional rule-making based on a proposed rule published on April 29, 2011 is forthcoming. The NOP is accepting public comments on this interim rule until December 26, 2012. Submit comments.

 

 

  • September 19, 2012: NOP Publishes Amendment to National List (Livestock)
    • This final rule reduces the maximum levels of synthetic methionine allowed in organic poultry production after October 1, 2012. This action also corrects the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) numbers for the allowable forms of methionine.

 

  • September 12, 2012: NOP Release Notice on use of Sodium (Chilean) Nitrate
    • Pending additional rule-making, operators using sodium nitrate after October 21, 2012 shall use it in a manner that maintains or improves the natural resources of the operation, including soil and water quality, and comply with crop nutrient and soil fertility requirements.

 

 

  • August 3, 2012: NOP Publishes Final Rule on Tetracycline, Formic Acid, Attapulgite
    • Apple and pear producers may continue to use tetracycline until October 21, 2014 to control fire blight. Honey producers now have the option of using formic acid as a means of controlling varroa and tracheal mites in organic honeybee operations. Processors now have the option of using attapulgite, a non-synthetic processing aid, for purification of plant and animal oils.

 

  • June 28, 2012: NOP Publishes Notice of Implementation Period for Pectin
    • This final rule allows additional time for operations to reformulate organic products containing pectin. After October 21, 2012, only non-amidated, non-organic pectin may be used in organic processing if organic pectin is not commercially available.

 

 

 

 

 

  • February 3, 2012: NOP Publishes Draft Guidance on Handling Bulk, Bulk Unpackaged Organic Products
    • This draft guidance document clarifies the certification requirements for handlers of unpackaged organic bulk commodities and specifies that handlers of bulk organic products – including grain, soybeans, hay, milk and livestock – must be certified or be covered under another operation’s organic certification.

 

  • February 1, 2012: NOP Publishes Proposed Rule for Sunset 2012
    • This proposed rule would renew over 200 listings on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances that were scheduled to expire this year (Sunset 2012 Materials). This proposed rule would also makes changes to the listings for chlorine, lignin sulfonate, streptomycin, yeast, hops, and pectin.

 

 

If you cannot download these documents, they are also available by request from PCO (814)-422-0251 or pco@paorganic.org