U.S.D.A. may add 19 colors to organic program's list

by Jeff Gelski
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The National Organics Standards Board has proposed to allow more ingredients, including 19 colors, to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances in the National Organics Program.

The list of the proposed ingredients will be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday with a shortened public comment period of seven days. The ingredients may be added to the National List as soon as June 9.

A finished product qualifies for an organic seal from the U.S.D.A.’s National Organic Program if at least 95% of the product is organic and the remaining non-organic substances appear on the National List. A finished product may have a "made with organic" label if at least 70% of the product is organic and the remaining non-organic substances appear on the National List.

The N.O.S.B. recommends adding the following colors to the National List for use in organic handling as a non-organic agricultural ingredient when the organic form of the color is considered commercially unavailable:

● annatto extract

● beet juice extract

● beta-carotene extract

● black currant juice

● black/purple carrot juice

● blueberry juice

● carrot juice

● cherry juice

● chokeberry-aronia juice

● elderberry juice

● grape juice

● grape skin extract

● paprika

● pumpkin juice

● purple potato juice

● red cabbage extract

● red radish extract

● saffron extract

● turmeric extract

The N.O.S.B. recommends adding several other ingredients to the National List for use in organic handling as a non-organic agricultural ingredient when the organic form of the color is considered commercially unavailable. Some of the more prominent ingredients include fish oil, fructooligosaccharides, gelatin, oligofructose-enriched inulin, pectin, chipotle chili pepper, unmodified rice starch and whey protein concentrate up to 80%.

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