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In the suit, filed in Federal District Court for the Northern District of California, the group contends that the department violated procedures for federal rule-making when it changed the way non-organic substances are approved for use in organic farming without holding a public hearing or seeking public comment.
Under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, organic producers may use only approved substances in farming and animal husbandry. The law created a list of exceptions, known as the National List, because organic versions of substances like copper sulfate and hydrogen peroxide were not available.
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