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USDA Extends Use of Methionine in Organic Production

by 5m Editor
26 August 2010, at 10:52a.m.

US - The US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Programme (NOP) announced an amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The amendment extends the use of methionine in organic poultry production.

Published in the Federal Register as an interim rule with request for comments, it extends the allowance for methionine in organic poultry production until 1 October 2012, with the following maximum allowable limits of methionine per ton of feed: four pounds for layers, five pounds for broilers and six pounds for turkeys and all other poultry. This interim rule is based upon a recommendation by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on 12 April 2010.

Methionine is an essential amino acid necessary in poultry diets for proper cell growth and feather development. While methionine is naturally present in organic poultry feed, the amount is not sufficient to maintain the optimal health of the birds. The NOSB determined that the loss of the use of synthetic methionine would disrupt the organic poultry market and cause substantial economic hardship to organic poultry operations.

The interim rule will become effective 1 October 2010, and is currently available for comments. Comments must be submitted by 25 October 2010. All comments received by this date will be considered prior to the issuance of the final rule. The interim rule and public comments may be viewed here.

Under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act, the Secretary of Agriculture can amend the National List based on proposed amendments developed by the NOSB. The National List identifies the synthetic substances that may be used and nonsynthetic (natural) substances that may not be used in organic production. Since being established in 2001, the National List has been amended 13 times, including this interim rule.