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Fall 2018 Meeting

The Fall 2018 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting will be October 24-26 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel in St. Paul, MN. The Meeting Agenda and Meeting Materials are posted and the public comment period is now open.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has prepared a resource booklet for its members to help explain the topics currently under NOSB consideration and to encourage participation in the public process. OTA staff will also be onsite at the meeting in St. Paul to deliver public comments and report back to members on the meeting discussions and outcomes. Follow @OrganicTrade's tweets for updates on Board decisions, and contact us for an in-depth follow-up publication after the meeting.

Please take a look at our NOSB Resource Booklet to gain additional context for the upcoming NOSB meeting and to read summaries of OTA's comments on the agenda items.




NOSB Public Comment Opportunities

The NOSB meeting is open to the public and participants are invited to provide written and/or oral comments.

Oral comments may occur during one of two webinar sessions, or at the in-person meeting:

  • Webinars: October 16 and 18, 2018, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern (3 minute comment slot)
  • In-person meeting: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 (3 minute comment slot)

Oral comment registration will open when the NOSB proposals are posted. Please note that stakeholders may only sign up for one comment slot.

Written comments must be submitted in advance of the meeting via

The final deadline to submit written comments and sign up for oral comments is Thursday, October 4, at midnight Eastern.

Meeting Topics

View the Meeting Agenda and Meeting Materials
Proposals, Discussion Documents and Petitions
The following topics are on the fall 2018 Meeting Agenda:

Read OTA's final comments to NOSB

Organic Trade Association submitted its final comments shaped by feedback from members on multiple important NOSB topics in time to meet the October 4 deadline. We will be providing oral comments during the webinars at the in-person meeting October 24-26.
Materials Subcommittee

Certification, Accreditation and Compliance Subcommittee

Livestock Subcommittee

Handling Subcommittee

Crops Subcommittee


2020 Sunset Review

2020 Sunset Review

IMPORTANT! NOSB will be VOTING at the fall 2018 meeting on whether or not to continue the allowance of the organic production and handling inputs below. Why should you care?

The inputs listed are below are fertilizers, pest control products, livestock treatments, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use under certain restrictions by certified organic operations. In short, they are production inputs that help to grow and process organic products. These production and handling inputs are being voted on by NOSB based on their Sunset review timeline (renewal date), and may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with organic production. It’s critical that NOSB hear from certified farmers and handlers during this open comment period on whether these inputs are essential and/or necessary for organic production, or whether there are other effective natural or organic alternatives available.

  • For use in organic crop production - 2020 Sunset Reviews (pdf): Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol; *Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate; *Newspaper or other recycled paper; Plastic mulch and covers; *Aqueous potassium silicate; *Elemental sulfur; *Lime sulfur; Sucrose octanoate esters; Hydrated lime; *Liquid fish products; Sulfurous Acid; *Ethylene; *Microcrystalline cheesewax; Potassium chloride 
  • For use in organic livestock production - 2020 Sunset Reviews (pdf): Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol; Aspirin; Biologics, vaccines; Electrolytes; *Glycerin; Phosphoric acid; Lime, hydrated; Mineral oil; *Sucrose octanoate esters
  • For use in organic handling/processing - 2020 Sunset Reviews (pdf): Calcium carbonate; Flavors; Gellan gum; Oxygen; Potassium chloride; Alginates; Calcium hydroxide; Ethylene; *Glycerides (mono and di); Magnesium stearate; Phosphoric acid; Potassium carbonate; Sulfur dioxide; Xanthan gum; Fructooligosaccharides (FOS); *Gums: Arabic, Carob bean, Guar, Locust bean; *Lecithin - de-oiled; *Tragacanth gum 

*Highlighted due to concerns/questions about relisting raised by the public or NOSB during the Spring 2018 Meeting – more information to follow

To help facilitate a robust comment process, OTA has created a survey system for collecting feedback from certified farms and processors. These electronic surveys 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.

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. The Board also advises the Secretary on other aspects of the organic regulations. 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
Johanna Mirenda
Farm Policy Director
(202) 812-7704