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Clarification Of PR Notice 2003-1

To provide clarification of Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice 2003-1 (12 pp, 73K, About PDF) regarding labeling of pesticide products under the National Organic Program (NOP), the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) NOP. If there are comments or questions related to this clarification, please contact Chris Pfeifer at the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division of OPP Chris Pefier, (Pfeifer.Chris@epa.gov).

Background: After the USDA issued its final rule on the National Organic Program (7 C.F.R. Part 205) on December 21, 2000, EPA issued guidance to assist organic growers and those persons certifying organic growers in identifying which pesticide products could qualify to meet the National Organic Standard. Under PR Notice 2003-1, EPA for the first time allowed the claim “organic” on a pesticide product label. This was possible because consistent Federal standards [i.e., the Federal Organic Food Production Act (7 U.S.C. §§ 6501, et seq.) and associated NOP Rule] existed for “organic” so that confusion regarding this term was minimized with respect to crop and animal production or food processing.

In the PR Notice, EPA stated that the phrase “For Organic Production” provided information about the use of a product in USDA’s NOP program and would not likely be perceived as safety information. Since that time, EPA has also allowed “For Organic Gardening” as a statement on products not intended for large commercial agriculture. While such products may be used by home gardeners wanting to follow the NOP, these products can also be purchased and used by smaller growers with limited need for large packages of pesticide products.

Clarification of label statements related to NOP: EPA is retaining the NOP statement “FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTION” for pesticide products meeting the standards of 7 C.F.R. Part 205 for commercial crop production, commercial animal production, and commercial food processing. EPA will also continue to allow “FOR ORGANIC GARDENING” on products intended for use on residential food and ornamental plants, including lawns. These are products that are used on plants, but that do not require worker protection language. See 40 C.F.R. §§ 170.103(c) and (d).

Products qualifying for NOP statements may also choose to use the EPA’s three leaf logo which can be found at:  http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/regtools/organic-pr-notice.htm.  There are two versions of this logo at the website.  One version is accompanied by the statement “FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTION,” and the other version is accompanied by the statement “FOR ORGANIC GARDENING.”  The version of the EPA three leaf logo accompanied by the phrase “FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTION” is intended for use in commercial crop production, commercial animal production, and/or commercial food processing.  The version of the logo accompanied by the statement “FOR ORGANIC GARDENING” is intended to be used where the product is typically for residential use and does not require worker protection language.

No NOP type statement will be allowed for pesticide products with use sites for other than commercial crop production, commercial animal production, commercial food processing, or application to food or ornamental plants in residential and similar situations. For example, even if the active and inert ingredients in a pesticide are natural substances or acceptable synthetic compounds, if the intended use is to repel rodents or squirrels from an attic or to control moss, algae, or mildew from house siding, these products cannot bear the NOP statement.

Clarification of the use of Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) logo on pesticide products: The OMRI logo (i.e., the OMRI Listed® Seal) will be allowed on pesticide products that would also be acceptable for EPA’s “For Organic Production” or “For Organic Gardening” designation. A label may contain both EPA’s NOP logo and an OMRI logo as long as an official OMRI logo is used and the product meets the NOP standards. Products with use sites that do not fit into these two categories will not be approved to bear the OMRI logo. In the event that another non-governmental organic certifier is recognized by EPA, this clarification would also apply.

Clarification of how to obtain permission to designate organic status on a pesticide label: EPA’s NOP logo and/or statement, OMRI logos, or other designation of organic certification cannot be added to a pesticide label by notification under 40 CFR § 152.46. A label amendment must be submitted to the appropriate registering division in OPP in order to obtain permission to designate organic status for an existing pesticide product. It is not acceptable to have a formulation for a product that meets the NOP standard and an alternate formulation that does not, or visa versa. The alternate formulation must be a new product as described in PR Notice 2003-1.

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