The Spring 2017 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be April 19-21 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, CO. The Preliminary Meeting Agenda has been posted and the public comment period is now open. A detailed draft agenda and the proposals will be posted on March 1. OTA will be commenting on various topics depending on member interest.
The primary purpose of NOSB meetings is to provide an opportunity for organic stakeholders to give input on proposed NOSB recommendations and discussion items. The meetings also allow NOSB to receive updates from USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) on issues pertaining to organic agriculture.
Stakeholders who would like to attend the meeting can use the online reservation link , or call the hotel at 1-888-627-8405 and use the group name: National Organic Standards Board Meeting. The reservation cutoff is Monday, March 27.
- 2019 Sunset Review (43 inputs under review, see below)
- Discussion document on Bioponics
- Strengthening the requirements for use of organic seed
- Definition of “emergency treatment” for livestock
- Discussion document on the use of BPA in packaging
- Inspector evaluations
- Conversion of native ecosystems
- Annotation change on tocopherols (requiring organic when available)
- Ancillary substances for cellulose
- Tocopherols annotation change
- Marine/algae listings on the National List
NOSB Public Comment Opportunities
The NOSB meeting is open to the public, and participants are invited to provide oral comments during one of two sessions:
- Thursday, April 13, from 1 - 4 p.m. Eastern via webinar; (3-minute comment slot)
- Wednesday/Thursday, April 19 and 20, at the face-to-face meeting; (3-minute comment slot)
Commenters may only sign up for one comment slot. Reserve an Oral Comment Slot
The final deadline to submit written comments and sign up for oral comments is Thursday, March 30, at midnight Eastern.
Comments should be submitted via Regulations.gov.
2019 SUNSET REVIEW (REVIEWED IN 2017)
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. It’s critical that NOSB hear from certified farmers and handlers prior to the Spring 2017 NOSB 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 is given to NOSB during 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.
OTA Draft Comments
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.
Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
Farm Policy Director