Materials Allowed In Organic Production

Materials Allowed In Organic Production

One of the first questions new organic producers ask is, “How do I know what I’m allowed to use?”

All inputs used in certified organic production must be in compliance with the requirements of the National Organic Program, as required at CFR §205.105. Producers and handlers must provide a list of all inputs to PCO annually as part of their annual updates.

PCO’s Materials Resource Team is at your service to provide reliable, timely, and consistent organic materials guidance to ensure that your inputs are in compliance.

How to find Allowed Materials:

PCO publishes an Annual Approved Materials List, which is provided both electronically and in print to PCO members. An Add/Drop List is also provided once a year to keep the list current.

Our list of Approved Materials currently contains more than 2800 approved brand name products, as well as applicable restrictions and contact information for suppliers.

Besides performing our own review service, PCO also recognizes review decisions by:

Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI)
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)

Brand name products must be approved either by PCO, OMRI or WSDA before being used in your organic operation. PCO does not provide any guarantee or endorsement for materials included on these Brand Name Lists. Using a product without verified approved status may jeopardize certified organic status of your operation or product. If in doubt about a product, please do not rely on information provided by salespeople – contact PCO directly and we will gladly assist you.

Do you have a specific materials question?  PCO’s Materials Review Team is here to help:

Jen Berkebile, Materials Program Manager

Adam Dalo, Materials Specialist

Sabine Carey, Materials Specialist

Request a Material Review

Would you like to use a material not already listed on these approved lists?

PCO members can submit a material for review by clicking here.

In order to be able to complete our review quickly, please provide the correct product name, manufacturer contact information, as well as specific use for which the product is intended. Once the review has been completed you will be notified of the outcome.

PCO Guidance Documents

The following Guidance documents are available from PCO:

• Guidance for the use of Livestock Medical Treatments
• Use of Compost/Manure Tea
• Allowed No-Rinse Sanitizers (including those for PMO Dairies)
• Boiler treatments

Please contact Jen Berkebile for copies.

Materials Resources:

OMRI List – Searchable database of allowed materials

WSDA list – Database of allowed materials

CDFA Registered Organic Input Materials (OIM) list – Database of allowed fertilizers

606 Organic – This website was created to assist Processors in the search for organic sources of the non-organically produced ingredients allowed in the National Organic Program section § 205.606.

National List– The NOP itself does not review brand name materials, but the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances lists substances which are exceptions to the general rule that non-synthetics are generally allowed and synthetics are generally prohibited. Particular sections of the National List that you should be aware of include:

  • §205.601 Synthetic Substances allowed in organic CROP production
  • §205.602 Non-synthetic substances prohibited for use in organic CROP production
  • §205.603 Synthetic substances allowed for use in organic LIVESTOCK production
  • §205.604 Non-synthetic substances prohibited for use in organic LIVESTOCK production
  • §205.605 Non-agricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))”
  • §205.606 Nonorganically produced agricultural products allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic”