Comment Now on Proposed Mushroom and Pet Food Standards in the USDA Organic Regulations

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Date Published
April 1, 2024
Image
mushrooms

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the USDA organic regulations. The rule proposes specific standards for organic mushroom production and organic pet food handling, creating more consistent standards for these markets. The proposed changes are based on public input and National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations. 

The public comment period closes on May 10, 2024. 

For organic mushrooms, this proposed rule would  

  • clarify which existing crop production standards apply to organic mushroom production; 
  • create a mushroom-specific standard for organic compost production;  
  • and require operations to, when commercially available,  
    • use organic materials for the uncomposted portions of production substrate, 
    • use organic spawn media, and  
    • use organic mushroom spawn.  

For organic pet food, the rule would

  • clarify how existing organic labeling requirements should be applied to organic pet food;  
  • allow organic meat and slaughter by-products in organic pet food;  
  • describe what ingredients can be used in organic pet food; and
  • add synthetic taurine (an amino acid) to the National List to allow its use in organic pet food to meet some pets’ nutritional needs.  

Be part of the policymaking process and make your voice heardvisit the Federal Register online to read the proposed rule and submit a comment.

How To Submit an Effective Comment 

Visit the NOP microlearning module on how to write an effective public comment. This module helps members of the organic community more effectively participate in the process of organic standards. Effective commenting lets the USDA hear your voice and better balance the needs of everyone affected in the organic market. 
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This text is adapted from a notice released by the National Organic Program on March 11, 2024.