The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, part of the 1990 Farm Bill, authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to appoint a 15-member National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The board’s main mission is to assist the Secretary in developing standards for substances to be used in organic production. The NOSB also advises the Secretary on other aspects of implementing the national organic program.
The first NOSB was appointed by then Secretary Edward Madigan in January 1992. Members of the initial board served staggered terms of 3, 4, or 5 years. All subsequent board appointees serve 5-year terms.
The current board is comprised of four farmers/growers, two handlers/processors, one retailer, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, three environmentalists, and one USDA accredited certifying agent who sit on various committees. Members come from all four U.S. regions.