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Out of Scope and Beyond Resolution

Question: 

Are there any products that OMRI will not review?

OMRI reviews input products for use in organic crop, livestock and processing production. However, some input products may be considered out of OMRI's scope for various reasons. Here is a list of product types that are considered to be out of scope for OMRI to review:

  • Machines or other types of devices.
  • Products that are not relevant to the organic standards, for instance products that are intended for aquaculture systems, bug spray for humans, or beauty care products. A product such as cat litter would be considered out of scope unless the label had a specific agricultural use that complies with the organic regulations.

OMRI’s Review Program routinely encounters difficult technical issues for which industry experts are consulted for guidance and interpretation of the organic standards. When a product review has an issue that is outside of OMRI's or other current written standards, OMRI’s policy is to place the product under “Unresolved” status for a maximum of 275 days while OMRI gathers evidence to help guide the review. If OMRI is unable to resolve the issue within the given timeframe, the application is forfeited and OMRI will refund the application fees. In certain cases where interpretation is needed from another regulatory body before making a decision, OMRI designates an unresolved issue as “Beyond Resolution,” and will no longer accept applications that pertain to that particular issue until the issue becomes resolved by the applicable regulatory body.

The following are current issues that OMRI considers to be Beyond Resolution, based on NOP standards:

ISSUE #1: Passive pheromone dispensers
Use Class: Crop Pest, Weed, and Disease Control (CP)
Passive pheromone dispensers are eligible to use List 3 inert ingredients under 7 CFR 205.601(m). The definition is generally considered to include twist ties, ropes, coils and other retrievable dispensers where the active pheromone is not in contact with the crop. It is unclear if formulations that are applied to the crop and are not possible to retrieve may be considered passive pheromone dispensers.

ISSUE #2: Natamycin
Use Class: All Use Classes 
Natamycin is a microbial substance that is EPA registered for use as a fungistat in mushroom production facilities. Although OMRI has determined that natamycin is a nonsynthetic material based on the Draft National Organic Program (NOP) Guidance on Classification of Materials (NOP 5033), the NOP has stated that this substance is not allowed under the NOP regulations and has instructed OMRI not to list products containing natamycin. The NOP has acknowledged that interested parties may submit a petition for natamycin’s use in organic production. 

ISSUE #3: Nonylphenol ethoxylates (CAS# 9016-45-9, 26027-38-3)
Use Class: Crop Pest, Weed, and Disease Control (CP), Crop Tools and Production Aids (CT), Livestock External Parasiticides and Pesticides (LP), Processing Pest Control (PP) and Processing Sanitizers and Cleaners (PS)
Polyoxyethylene nonylphenol (CAS# 9016-45-9) and p-Nonylphenol, ethoxylated (CAS# 26027-38-3) are types of nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) identified as List 4 inert ingredients in the 2004 EPA List of Inerts which are permitted at 7 CFR 205.601(m). However, OMRI understands that linear NPEs identified with CAS# 9016-45-9 and 26027-38-3 are incorrectly identified, and that commercially available forms should be identified by a List 3 CAS number that denotes a branched structure. OMRI will no longer list products reporting the use of CAS# 9016-45-9 or 26027-38-3, pending clarification from the National Organic Program.

ISSUE #4: Whey from cows treated with rBGH
Use Class: Livestock Healthcare
The OMRI Generic Materials List© (GML) includes a category for Colostrum/Whey Antibodies which explicitly prohibits whey from cows treated with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). However, it is unclear whether this prohibition is consistent with the Excluded Methods (GMO) Decision Trees in the OMRI Standards Manual©. This issue is pending further review of OMRI’s policies for reviewing Colostrum/Whey Antibodies used in livestock production. 

ISSUE #5: Chlorine dioxide gas for fumigation
Use Class: Processing Sanitizers and Cleaners (PS), Processing Pest Controls (PP), Processing Nonagricultural Ingredients and Processing Aids (PN)
Chlorine materials are included at §205.605(b) of the National List. However, it is unclear whether chlorine dioxide gas can be allowed under this listing for chlorine materials. A petition for sodium chlorite for the generation of chlorine dioxide gas is currently under review by the NOSB. The NOSB’s decision on this petition is expected to clarify whether a gaseous form of chlorine dioxide can be permitted under the current listing of chlorine materials at §205.605(b) or whether a separate listing would be required in order to allow this material.  

The following are current issues that OMRI considers to be Beyond Resolution, based on COR standards:

ISSUE #1: Lactic Acid 
Use Classes: Crop Fertilizers and Soil Amendments (CF)
Nonsynthetic lactic acid is allowed as a formulant in crop fertilizers and soil amendments, as identified in Table 4.2 of the Permitted Substances Lists. However, it is unclear whether lactic acid, produced by esterification and/or acid-base extraction, meets the definition of nonsynthetic at CAN/CGSB-32.310 subclause 3.39. OMRI has submitted this issue to the Standards Interpretation Committee but a final response providing clarification has not yet been published.

ISSUE #2: Gibberellic Acid
Use Classes: Crop Pest, Weed and Disease Control (CP)
Nonsynthetic gibberellic acid is allowed as a growth regulator for plants, as identified in Table 4.3 of the Permitted Substances Lists. However, it is unclear whether gibberellic acid, produced by esterification, meets the definition of nonsynthetic at CAN/CGSB-32.310 subclause 3.39. The Standards Interpretation Committee has not published a final response providing clarification.

ISSUE #3: Genetically Engineered Formulants
Use Classes: Crop Pest, Weed and Disease Control (CP) Livestock Healthcare (LH), and Livestock External Parasiticides and Pesticides (LP)
All products of and materials from genetic engineering (GE) are prohibited at CAN/CGSB-32.310 subclause 1.4.a. However, the Canadian General Standards Board is expected to publish a revision to the Canadian Organic Standards that will exempt formulants used in crop pesticides and livestock healthcare products from this clause of the organic standard. Pending publication of the revised standard, OMRI will not list crop pesticides, livestock healthcare products, or livestock external parasicitides and pesticides containing formulants that do not meet the non-GE requirements of CAN/CGSB-32.310 subclause 1.4.a.

ISSUE #4: Calcium Chloride
Use Classes: Crop Fertilizers and Soil Amendments (CF), Crop Management Tools and Production Aids (CT) and Crop Pest, Weed and Disease Control (CP)
Nonsynthetic calcium chloride is allowed to address nutrient deficiencies and physiological disorders in crop fertilizers and soil amendments, as identified in Table 4.2 and 4.3 of the Permitted Substances Lists. However, it is unclear whether calcium chloride extracted from natural brines meets the definition of nonsynthetic at CAN/CGSB-32.310 subclause 3.39. OMRI has submitted this issue to the Standards Interpretation Committee but a final response providing clarification has not yet been published.