There has been some concern about new varieties of cottonseed that are coming into the US, and if they can be used for organic cotton planting. There was a potential issue that the non-organic cottonseed may have been treated or delinted with a chemical not allowed in the National Organic Program (NOP) and potentially still be on the seedcoat when planted in an organic field.
NOP 5029-1 Response to Comments for the Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock guidance, Paragraph 5, Definition of “Priming” and Types of Treatments that Need Review, states: “We have also clarified that substances used during the production of non-organic seed or non-organic planting stock do not require review. This includes substances that may be used in post-harvest handling and cleaning of non-organic seed and planting stock, that do not remain on the seed when it is planted.”
“Therefore, so long as the material does not remain on the non-organic seed when it is planted, the seed would be allowed in organic production, provided it meets all other NOP requirements for non-organic seed.”
A specific example of this scenario includes non-organic cotton seed that has been delinted with sulfuric acid. Manufacturer affidavits should attest that the acid has been neutralized, and no longer remains on the seed when planted.
A big thanks to Brandi Chandler with TDA for getting this clarification on the rule from the National Organic Program.