WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2012— The National Organic Program published a final rule that extends the allowance for synthetic methionine in organic poultry production at reduced levels:  laying and broiler chickens – 2 pounds per ton of feed; turkeys and all other poultry – 3 pounds per ton of feed.

Effective October 2, 2012, the final rule addresses the second of a two-part recommendation by the National Organic Standards Board. 

Methionine is classified as an essential amino acid for poultry because it is needed to maintain viability, specifically for proper cell development and feathering. The National Organic Standards Board determined that while wholly natural substitute products exist, they are not presently available in sufficient supplies to meet poultry producer needs. Therefore, some allowance for synthetic methionine is necessary to comprise a nutritionally adequate diet for organic poultry.

The first part of the Board’s recommendation was codified in October 2010 to allow organic poultry producers to prepare for reduced levels of synthetic methionine allowed in feed, effective with the publication of the final rule.

Carrying out the second part of the recommendation, the rule provides for basic maintenance requirements while urging the organic poultry industry to continue to find commercially sufficient yet allowable natural methionine sources.

The final rule will become effective on Oct. 2, 2012. The rule will also correct the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) numbers for the listing for synthetic methionine on the National List.

The National Organic Program is responsible for ensuring the integrity of USDA organic agricultural products in the United States and throughout the world. More information is available at www.ams.usda.gov/nop.


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