The USDA organic regulations contain detailed requirements about how to produce and label organic products. Part of the regulations, the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), describes what can and cannot be used in organic—like what materials are allowed in organic food production and processing.
On Monday, November 14, USDA will publish a final rule that adds two substances to the National List:
- Paper-based planting aids, also known as “paper pots,” for transplanting crops on organic farms.
- Low-acyl gellan gum for use as a thickener, stabilizer, or gelling agent in organic products like beverages, icing, dessert fillings and confections, and capsules for supplements.
The rule also corrects a spelling error on the National List, changing “wood resin” to “wood rosin.” Changes to the National List require a recommendation from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and rulemaking by USDA. The NOSB is the federal advisory board that advises USDA leadership about the National List and other policy matters impacting the organic industry. These changes are based on NOSB recommendations from October 2020 and April 2021 and public comment on a proposed rule on this topic.