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NOP Proposes to Reclassify Magnesium Chloride and Add Two Substances to National List

by Peter Nell |

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule proposed to allow elemental sulfur for use as a molluscicide, add polyoxin D zinc salt to control fungal diseases, and reclassify magnesium chloride as an allowed nonsynthetic ingredient in organic handling.

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until April 16, 2019, via under Docket Number AMS-NOP-18- 0051.

Proposed reclassification of magnesium chloride as nonsynthetic

Magnesium chloride derived from sea water is currently listed at § 205.605(b) as a nonagricultural (nonorganic) synthetic substance allowed as an ingredient in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic.” Magnesium chloride is primarily used in organic tofu processing.

The proposal to reclassify magnesium chloride as an allowed nonsynthetic ingredient is based off a November 2016 technical report and public comments. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously recommended reclassifying the substance because natural sources of magnesium chloride can be derived from terminal lake brines, subsurface brine deposits, and mined mineral deposits, as well as sea water.

Under the proposed reclassification, organic handlers using magnesium chloride will need to verify that their sources comply with the nonsynthetic classification. For more questions, contact your CCOF Certification Service Specialist.

New substances proposed for crop production

NOP is proposing to allow elemental sulfur as slug or snail bait under § 205.601(h) of the National List. Elemental sulfur is currently allowed as an insecticide, as plant disease control, and as a plant or soil amendment. NOP notes that an “increased adoption of low tillage and no tillage agricultural practices can increase an abundance of snails and slugs, which can reduce crop yields.” The proposed addition of elemental sulfur comes from a recommendation from NOSB and considers a petition, technical report, and public comment in support of the substance.

Polyoxin D zinc salt, a synthetic biofungicide, is proposed to be added to § 205.601(i) as plant disease control. NOSB considered a petition to add the substance to the National List in 2013 and did not recommend the addition. In 2016, a new petition was brought forward with data that polyoxin D zinc salt was not harmful to beneficial soil organisms and insects. Following the second petition and new technical reports, NOSB determined that polyoxin D zinc salt was an effective substance to a wide range of fungal diseases.

For questions about the proposal, please contact Valerie Frances, Standards Division, National Organic Program at (202) 720-3252.