September 01, 2006


 USDA proposes allowing more substances in organic livestock

Posted Aug. 15, 2006

The Department of Agriculture is proposing to permit additional substances, including those used in a number of medical treatments, in organic livestock production.

The medical treatments permissible with limitations under the new rule would include administration of atropine, bismuth subsalicylate, butorphanol, flunixin, furosemide, magnesium hydroxide, poloxalene, tolazoline, and xylazine.

The amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for organic livestock also would allow the use of peracetic acid for sanitation of facilities and processing equipment, calcium propionate for inhibition of mold in dry herbal products, and excipients in the manufacture of drugs. Excipients are inactive ingredients such as fillers, extenders, diluents, wetting agents, solvents, emulsifiers, preservatives, flavors, absorption enhancers, sustained-release matrices, and coloring agents.

The new rule would reflect recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board. The USDA also consulted with the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The USDA did not accept the board's recommendation to extend withdrawal periods for drugs to twice the usual FDA requirements. The USDA also did not approve allowing the antimicrobial moxidectin for controlling parasites in organic livestock or allowing activated charcoal, calcium borogluconate, calcium propionate, kaolin pectin, mineral oil, or propylene glycol as veterinary treatments.

The deadline for comments on the proposal is Sept. 15 by mail to Arthur Neal, Director of Program Administration, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 4008-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250; by e-mail to; via the Web at; or by fax to (202) 205-7808. Comments should include the docket number, TM-03-04.

More information is available
by contacting Arthur Neal
at (202) 720-3252
or visiting