GREENFIELD, Mass. (Oct. 16, 2000)—Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade Association, has been appointed to a working group to explore organic certification standards for wild harvested aquatic species.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in September established an Aquatic Animal Task Force and two related working groups to advise the board in its deliberations concerning organic certification standards for operations that produce aquatic animals.
As defined by NOSB, aquatic animals are any finfish or shellfish used for human consumption, whether taken from regulated but free-roaming marine and fresh water populations, or propagated and raised in a controlled or selected environment.
Serving on the Aquatic Animal Task Force are six members of the NOSB—Bob Anderson, Carolyn Brickey, Rebecca Goldburg, Steven Harper, William Lockeretz, and Eric Sideman—and
two non-NOSB members—Miles McEvoy, organic program manager for the state of Washington, and Margaret Wittenberg, vice president for governmental and public affairs for Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Besides DiMatteo, the Wild Harvest Working Group, chaired by McEvoy, includes Brickey, Harper, Lockeretz, Paul Peyton, David Gould, John Papalardo, Chris Dorsett, Jan Konigsberg, Zeke Grader, Jim Riddle, and Jim Humphreys.
The Aquaculture Working Group, chaired by Wittenberg, includes Goldburg, Sideman, Dan Butterfield, George Lockwood, Chris Duffy, Richard Nelson, Gary Fornshell, John Hargreaves, Robin Downey, and Deborah Brister.
Acting independently, the two working groups will evaluate the appropriateness and suitability of organic standards for aquatic animal production systems. The working groups will forward their analyses to the Task Force, which will prepare its own recommendation to submit to NOSB. At that time, the recommendations will be made available for public review and comment. NOSB will weigh Task Force recommendations and public comment in developing its own recommendations for the National Organic Program.
The Task Force has tentatively scheduled the working groups to complete their analyses by Nov. 15, followed by the release of Task Force recommendations by Jan. 15, 2001, enabling NOSB to make its own recommendations in June 2001.
October 16, 2000
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