Glossary

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AAFCO – American Association of Feed Control Officials

AAPFCO – American Association of Plant Food Control Officials

Accredited – Approval granted by the USDA NOP for each certification agent that has demonstrated the ability to meet the requirements of the NOP Rule; only accredited certification agents may certify to the NOP Rule standards in the US.

Active ingredient – any substance, as determined by EPA, that will prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest, or that functions as a plant regulator, desiccant, or defoliant within the meaning of FIFRA.

APHIS – Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service. Agency in the U. S. Department of Agriculture responsible for licensing and regulating animal biological products.

Allowed – the status of materials that may be used in organic production, processing, or handling.

ASTM – American Society of Testing and Materials.

Brand name product – commercial formulation of material(s) sold for farming, livestock, or processing.

Brand name product review – the process of evaluating a brand name product for compliance with the NOP Rule.

Aerobic –  In the presence of oxygen.

Algicide – A substance that is toxic to algae.

Biologics –  All viruses, serums, toxins, and analogous products of natural or synthetic origin, such as diagnostics, antitoxins, vaccines, live microorganisms, killed microorganisms, and the antigenic or immunizing components of microorganisms intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of diseases of animals (NOP: 7 CFR 205.2).

Breeder stock – Female livestock whose offspring may be incorporated into an organic operation at the time of their birth (NOP: 7 CFR 205.2). In order for offspring to qualify for organic slaughter status, parent must be under organic management from last third of gestation.

BSE – Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a progressive neurological disease that is fatal to  cattle and is possibly transmitted through the ingestion of feed contaminated by infected animal tissue. Also known as Mad Cow Disease.

Carriers – An edible material added to medications, supplements, or other livestock health care products to facilitate their uniform incorporation into feeds. The active particles are absorbed, impregnated, or coated into or onto the edible material so that it can physically carry the active ingredient.

CAS number – Chemical Abstract Services number.

Certifier – business or organization that inspects and verifies compliance of farms, handling facilities, processing plants, and retailers with organic standards.

CFR – Code of Federal Regulations.

Chain of custody – form or set of forms that document the collection and transfer of an ingredient or product.

Closed list – A list of allowed or prohibited materials for organic production, which is complete or exhaustive and is not subject to interpretation.

Codex Alimentarius – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization have developed a set of guidelines for organically produced food as part of an overall international project known as Codex Alimentarius. The Codex guidelines for organic food labeling are used to help various countries establish a consistent set of laws and to help harmonize different existing national standards. In the event of an international dispute, the World Trade Organization is expected to treat the Codex Alimentarius guidelines as neutral and consensus based.

Confidential information – trade secret not available to members of the public.

Co-factor – A compound needed by an enzyme to carry out the reaction it catalyzes.

CSF – Confidential Statement of Formulation. A document, usually required by the EPA, that lists the ingredients, percentages, purposes, and CAS numbers for a registered pesticide formulation.

Culture – a microorganism, tissue, or organ growing on or in a media.

Dairy stock, organic – animals producing milk products.  Must be managed organically at least one year prior to certified organic production. Dairy animals may also be considered breeder stock, but must meet dairy requirements in order for milk products to be considered organic.

EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA List 1 – inert ingredients of toxicological concern.

EPA List 2 – potentially toxic inerts, with high priority for testing.

EPA List 3 – inerts of unknown toxicity.

EPA List 4A –inerts of minimal concern.

EPA List 4B – inert ingredients for which EPA has sufficient information to conclude that their current use patterns in pesticide products will not adversely affect public health and the environment.

EU – European Union.

European Union Regulations – EU member states follow European Union Council Regulation 2092/91 on organic agriculture. Each member state has a national law that conforms to the regulation and a competent authority responsible for implementation. Once in the EU, imported product has free movement within the borders. Also, the EU recognizes a number of countries outside the EU as having equivalent organic regulations, including Australia, Argentina, and Israel. Products shipped to these countries and processed also need to meet EU regulations. The US does not, at this time, have an equivalency agreement with the EU. Thus, the EU does not automatically and may not necessarily accept for importation products certified by an NOP-accredited certifier.

Excipient – an ingredient contained in a drug formulation that is not a medicinally active constituent.

Exempt pesticide – crop protection material that is not required to register with EPA (25b exempt).

FDA – US Food and Drug Administration

Feed – Depending on the context, the word ‘feed’ can mean two different things. 1) Feed refers to edible materials that are consumed by livestock for their nutritional value and may be concentrates (grains, beans, and oilseed meals) or roughages (hay, silage, and fodder). 2) A mixture of agricultural commodities, supplements, and additives is also commonly called feed.

Feed additive – an ingredient or combination of ingredients added to all or part of a basic feed mix to fulfill a specific need, used in micro quantities and requiring careful handling or mixing. Includes amino acids, vitamins and minerals, non-nutritive products that improve rate and/or efficiency of gain of animals such as antibiotics and hormones, and feed preservatives.

Feed supplement – a feed used with another feed to improve the nutritive balance or performance of the total ration and intended to be:
(i) Diluted with other feeds when fed to livestock;
(ii) Offered free choice with other parts of the ration if separately available; or
(iii) Further diluted and mixed to produce a complete feed.

FIFRA – Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Flow chart – diagram that shows how a product is manufactured.

Formulation – quantities and the sources of ingredients used to make a product.

GE – genetically engineered

Generic material – common name used to describe a nonproprietary substance on the National List.

Genetically engineered/modified – Refers to a variety of methods used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes and are not considered compatible with organic production. Such methods would include recombinant DNA (rDNA), cell fusion, micro- and macroencapsulation, and the following results when achieved by recombinant techniques: gene deletion and doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes. Such methods would not include the use of traditional breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization, or tissue culture.

GMO – genetically modified organism.

GRAS – Generally Recognized as Safe.

IBS – IFOAM Basic Standards.

IFOAM – The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is a non-governmental organization that has established a set of Basic Standards. IFOAM has contracted with the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS) to accredit certifiers to these voluntary standards. Several large retailers in Europe rely on the IFOAM standards and IOAS accreditation as the basis for their certification rather than any particular national standard.

Inert ingredient – Any substance (or group of substances with similar chemical structures if designated by the EPA) other than an active ingredient which is intentionally included in any pesticide product.

Ingredient – (1) Component of a formulation or product. (2) For processing, any substance used in the preparation of an agricultural product that is still present in the final commercial product as consumed.

JAS – Japanese Agricultural Standard.

Japanese Agricultural Standards – The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry established the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) to accredit certifiers and enforce organic labeling laws. The Japanese government and U.S. have established an equivalency arrangement for the trade in products labeled organic with a few specific exceptions. However, some buyers still insist on full JAS compliance rather than accept equivalence.

List 1 Inert – An inert identified as one of toxicological concern by EPA.

List 2 Inert – An inert identified as one of probable toxicological concern with a high priority for testing by EPA.

List 3 Inert – An inert identified by the EPA as of unknown toxicity.

List 4 Inert – An inert identified by the EPA as minimum risk.

Media – the substance in which an organism, tissue, or organ exists.

MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheet.

Multi-ingredient product – any formulation that contains more than one ingredient.

National List – The NOP regulatory list of synthetic materials allowed and natural materials prohibited in organic production, including non-organic ingredients allowed in organic processing.

Negative List – 1. A list of excluded items. 2. In the case of organic food standards, items that are prohibited for production, handling, or processing. 3. A list of exceptions to a general rule.

NOP –National Organic Program office in the USDA which regulates organic production and labeling.

NOSB – U.S. National Organic Standards Board, a board appointed by the secretary of the USDA to review materials used in organic production and recommend their addition or removal from the  National List.

Nutrient claims – guarantees of plant or animal food values made on the label or supporting literature.

OFPA – Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the U.S. federal law that defines the term “organic.”

Open List – A list of items that is not comprehensive and is subject to interpretation based on criteria or guidelines.

Organic certification – process by which agricultural operations, retailers, distributors, and food processors are inspected and reviewed to verify compliance with organic standards.

OSAC – Organic Suppliers Advisory Council of the Organic Trade Association.

OTA – Organic Trade Association.

Pesticide – 1. A substance used to control insects, fungi, rodents, weeds, or other organisms that are considered pests. 2. Any substance which alone, in chemical combination, or in any formulation with one or more substances is defined as a pesticide in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Positive List – 1. A list of included items. 2. In the case of organic food standards, items that are allowed for production, handling, or processing.

Probiotics – cultures of beneficial microorganisms fed to livestock to improve digestion and improve health. Also known as “direct-fed microorganisms.”

Processing aid – includes: (a) substances that are added to a food during the processing of such food but are removed in some manner from the food before it is packaged in its finished form; (b) substances that are added to a food during processing, are converted into constituents normally present in the food, and do not significantly increase the amount of the constituents naturally found in the food; and (c) substances that are added to a food for their technical or functional effect in the processing but are present in the finished food at insignificant levels and do not have any technical or functional effect in that food.

Product label – document used to market a brand name material that identifies the name, ingredients, uses, and other claims made.

Prohibited – the status of materials that may not be used in organic production, processing, or handling.

Public document – information on file that is not confidential.

Reformulation – change in the ingredients and/or percentages of ingredients that compose a given product.

Registered pesticide – substance that is required to be registered with EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Regulated – the status of materials that may be used in organic production, processing, or handling

Review – see “brand name product review.”

Rodenticide – A substance that is toxic to rodents.

Slaughter stock - Any animal that is intended to be slaughtered for consumption by humans or other animals (NOP: 7 CFR 205.2).

Source documentation – record of an ingredient’s origin. Examples are invoices and bills of lading.

Status – (1) the designation given to a material or brand name product indicating it is allowed or prohibited by organic standards. (2) the position in the review process of a given brand name product.

Substrate – portion of a media metabolized by an organism.

Supplier – basic producer, formulator, manufacturer and/or distributor of brand name products.

Synthetic – substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral sources, except that such term shall not apply to substances created by naturally occurring biological processes.

Technical sheets – documents that specify the biological, chemical, physical, and other properties of a given material or brand name product. Also know as “Technical Data Sheets” or “Technical Specification Sheets.”

TGAI – Technical Grade Active Ingredient.

Trait – phenotypic attribute that includes both external or physiological characteristics of an organism as determined by its inherited genes, by genetic modification, or as modified by its environment.

USDA – United States Department of Agriculture.