NOP

NOP Releases Policy Memo on Container Production and Land Use History

Jenny Tucker, the deputy administrator of the USDA National Organic Program, released a policy memo on June 3, 2019 regarding land use history requirements for container based production systems. This memo clarified that all container systems “including hydroponic and other pot-based systems with or without soil must meet land requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the USDA organic regulations.” The regulations require that land must not have prohibited materials applied for three years prior to the harvest of an organic crop.

USDA Launches Organic Learning Center Featuring CCOF-Produced Content

Last week the National Organic Program (NOP) launched the Organic Integrity Learning Center, an online platform that will provide free organic education geared towards certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and compliance specialists. CCOF-produced videos were featured in a lesson titled “Sound and Sensible Organic Certification.” These videos were produced with a grant from USDA’s Sound and Sensible initiative to ease the process of transition and certification for producers. CCOF is proud to contribute content that highlights CCOF members and their practices in the new Learning Center. 

NOP Amends National List

On December 27, 2018 the National Organic Program (NOP) issued a final rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. 

The rule changes the use restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production and/or handling, adds 16 new allowed substances, and prohibits rotenone in organic crop production and ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide. 

The rule also amends the national organic standards to allow the use of parasiticides in fiber bearing animals.

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Hemp Gets Federally Recognized

Hemp has a long history of use in the United States and around the world. However, it has been illegal to grow in the United States for decades unless grown under a federal, state, or university program. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp a federally recognized agricultural commodity. This change in classification provides the organic industry with an opportunity to diversify crops and create new products so long as all federal requirements are met. 

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

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.

NOP Amends National List with 16 New Substances and 17 Updated Substance Use Restrictions

In late December, 2018, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued a final rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule changes the use restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production and/or handling, adds 16 new allowed substances, and prohibits rotenone in organic crop production and ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide.

Updates for Importers in the United States

CCOF-certified importers should be prepared to provide detailed information during inspections to ensure that they meet the expectations of NOP Interim Instruction 4013. An importer is anyone who directly imports (importer of record), as well as operations who are the first certified organic business located in the United States taking title, receiving, or selling imported products.

Update on Court Ruling Against USDA Compost Guidance

On June 20, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not properly issue guidance on the allowance of green waste in compost used for organic production. USDA has 60 days to appeal the decision.

The ruling is the outcome of a federal lawsuit filed against USDA that challenges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidance on the allowance of green waste in organic production systems. The Court held that USDA did not properly issue the guidance because it did not provide for public notice and comment.