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Fall 2017 Meeting

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which recommends organic policy to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, will hold its fall public meeting October 31 through November 2 in Jacksonville, FL. The draft agenda for the upcoming meeting is now posted. A more detailed agenda and the meeting materials will be available on or before September 12. The meeting will take place at the Omni Jacksonville. OTA will keep you informed of issues to be discussed and commented on for this meeting.

Meeting Details:

Deadline for written comments and to sign up for oral comments: October 11
Comment webinars: October 24 and 26, 2017, 1-4pm

Hotel: Omni Jacksonville Hotel


The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet via web conference on August 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern to discuss hydroponics in organic food production. Register for the online conference. A transcript will be available approximately two weeks after the event. This will be a discussion only; NOSB will not be voting on a recommendation at this time. Visit the meeting website to access the Federal Registernotice announcing the August 14 web conference. For more information, contact Gwendolyn Wyard.


The comment period for the fall 2017 meeting of the NOSB is currently open. Discussion documents and proposals for the meeting will not be posted until late August/early September, but the comment docket is open from now until October 11.

Comments may be submitted anytime through using docket # AMS-NOP-17-0024.


The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is in the process of reviewing several of the fertilizers, pest control products, livestock treatments, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use by certified organic operations. NOSB will VOTE on whether these production and handling inputs will continued to be allowed in organic at the Fall 2017 meeting. Although comments were submitted and discussion on these materials began during the Spring 2017 meeting, it’s now critical that NOSB hear from all certified farmers and handlers prior to the Fall 2017 meeting on whether these inputs are essential and/or necessary for organic production, or whether there are other effective natural or organic alternatives available.

To help facilitate a robust comment process, OTA has created a survey system for collecting feedback from certified farms and processors. Below are links to electronic surveys that can be used to submit feedback on each individual input currently under NOSB review. Each survey is CONFIDENTIAL, and contains about 10 short questions that will take an estimated five minutes to complete.


IMPORTANT! NOSB will be VOTING on the 2019 Sunset inputs at the Fall 2017 meeting. Feedback given to NOSB prior to this meeting to help inform NOSB’s vote at the fall 2017 meeting and will ultimately help decide whether or not the inputs will continue to be allowed in organic production and processing.

Mission and Structure of NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board was created through the Organic Foods Production Act, a sub-section of the 1990 Farm Bill. The Board is charged with the task of assisting the Secretary of Agriculture on which substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic farming and processing. This 15-person citizen advisory board brings together volunteers from around the United States. It is made up of four farmers/growers, two handlers/processors, one retailer, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, three environmentalists, and one USDA accredited certifying agent. 

Gwendolyn Wyard
Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
(503) 798-3294
Nathaniel Lewis
Farm Policy Director
(360) 388-6422