2017 Sunset Review Proposed Rule

The public comment period is now open for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed 2017 Sunset Rule to remove 11 substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). If the USDA finalizes the proposed rule, then 11 previously allowed substances would be prohibited from organic production as of June 27, 2017.

USDA will accept public comments on the proposed rule through March 20, 2017. Comments may be submitted to www.regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-16-0052.

The proposed rule would remove the following three synthetic substances and eight non-organic ingredients currently allowed in organic production:

Synthetic substances:
  • Lignin sulfonate
  • Furosemide
  • Magnesium Carbonate

(Currently allowed in 5 percent of an organic product only if an organic version is not available.)

  • Chia
  • Dillweed Oil
  • Galangal, frozen
  • Inulin – oligofructose enriched
  • Lemon grass, frozen
  • Peppers (chipotle chile)
  • Turkish Bay Leaves
  • Whey Protein Concentrate

The proposed rule is consistent with the 2015 recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB makes recommendations to remove substances from the National List using the criteria of the substance being harmful to human health or the environment, the substance no longer being necessary due to the availability of a nonsynthetic alternative, or the substance’s use being inconsistent with organic farming and handling practices.

Information regarding each substance and its background on the National List can be found within the proposed ruling.

CCOF encourages members using any of the 11 materials proposed for removal to submit a comment by March 20, 2017. Please contact me at pnell@ccof.org for questions or more information.