43 Substances up for Discussion at NOSB Denver Meeting

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has released the list of substances up for review at their spring meeting in Denver, Colorado, on April 19-21, 2017.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comment via www.regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-16-0100-0001 by March 30, 2017.

Oral comments will also be received in person at the meeting and through an online webinar occurring April 13, 2017. Those interested in giving an in-person comment at the meeting or through the webinar must register before March 30, 2017.

NOSB reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (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.

In total, 43 substances will be discussed at the spring meeting:

Crop scope substances:

  • Biodegradable bio-based mulch film
  • Boric acid 
  • Sticky traps/barriers 
  • Copper sulfate 
  • Coppers, fixed 
  • Humic acids
  • Micronutrients: Soluble boron products
  • Micronutrients: Sulfates, carbonates, oxides, or silicates of zinc, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and cobalt 
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Lead salts 
  • Tobacco dust (nicotine sulfate) 

Handling scope substances:

  • Attapulgite
  • Bentonite
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Nitrogen
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Acidified sodium chlorite
  • Calcium hypochlorite
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Chlorine dioxide
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Potassium acid tartrate
  • Sodium hypochlorite
  • Sodium phosphates
  • Casings
  • Konjac flour
  • Pectin (non-amidated forms only)

Livestock scope substances:

  • Calcium hypochlorite
  • Chlorine dioxide
  • Sodium hypoclorite
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Glucose
  • Oxytocin
  • Tolazoline
  • Copper sulfate
  • Lidocaine 
  • Procacine

NOSB will discuss the substances at the Denver meeting and complete preliminary reviews for each. The public will be able to submit further comments in support or opposition to NOSB’s reviews ahead of their fall meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. NOSB will then vote to either re-list the substance or remove it from the National List. Learn more about the process.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is collecting feedback through surveys for each substance. Feedback to OTA will help shape their public comment and will be submitted to NOSB. Additionally, OTA has provided a summary of each input with descriptions of their uses and direct links to their corresponding survey.


CCOF will submit public comments for each scope of substances and encourages any member using the above listed substances to submit comments by March 30, 2017. Please contact pnell@ccof.org for questions or more information.