U.S.D.A. updates vitamin, mineral organic standards

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — In the Jan. 12 edition of the Federal Register the U.S. Department of Agriculture will publish a proposed rule that updates the use of vitamins and minerals in organic foods and infant formula. The intention of the proposed rule is to align the organic standards with current Food and Drug Administration regulations. The proposed rule includes a two-year implementation period to allow companies to change their formulations to comply with the new requirements.

The U.S.D.A. did not provide a list of the vitamins and minerals that it has proposed to be approved, but said the proposed rule would correct an inaccurate reference to the F.D.A.’s fortification policy, and clearly delineate that only vitamins and minerals the F.D.A. has classified as “essential” will be permitted.

“Consumers expect that each substance allowed in organic products has met stringent criteria and has been recommended by the independent National Organic Standards Board,” said Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator of the National Organic Program. “The changes proposed would provide clear, enforceable standards for the use of vitamins and minerals in organic products.”

Nutrients not covered under this proposed rule would be prohibited in organic products unless they are listed separately on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). That section of the federal organic standards lists the non-organic ingredients and processing aids allowed in organic processed products.

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