October 13, 2010
USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has released five draft guidance documents for public comment, according to the notice published today in the Federal Register. Comments are due by December 13, 2010, and can be submitted here.
Guidance documents provide interpretations of NOP statutory and regulatory requirements in order to assist those who own, manage, or certify organic operations in complying with the regulations. Finalized guidance documents will be included in the NOP Program Handbook.
Compost and Vermicompost in Organic Crop Production (NOP 5021) provides clarification on allowed practices for composition, production, and use of compost and vermicompost in organic crop production.
Wild Crop Harvesting (NOP 5022) describes ways to achieve compliance with the wild-crop harvesting practice standard (§205.207). Wild crops include wild mushrooms, blueberries, kelp, and seaweed.
Outdoor Access for Organic Poultry (NOP 5024) clarifies outdoor access for poultry under the NOP regulations, which require organic poultry producers to provide all poultry with access to the outdoors except during intervals of temporary confinement for specified animal welfare and environmental concerns.
Commingling and Contamination Prevention in Organic Production and Handling (NOP 5025) reiterates that management practices and physical barriers to prevent commingling and contamination of organic products with nonorganic products on split operations must be clearly described in the organic system plan (OSPs) of certified organic operations and verified by inspection by an accredited certifying agent (ACA).
The Use of Chlorine Materials in Organic Production and Handling (NOP 5026) clarifies the use and monitoring of chlorine products in organic production and handling.