Soo Kim (202) 720-7476
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2010— On April 26-29, 2011, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will convene in Seattle, Wash., to receive input from the organic community and finalize its recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture.
USDA encourages the public to provide comments on these recommendations. After the NOSB votes on and finalizes these recommendations, it will submit them to the National Organic Program for further consideration and potential inclusion in the federal organic regulations. A full listing of topics on the meeting agenda, NOSB committees’ draft recommendations, and instructions for providing comments are available at www.ams.usda.gov/nosb
At the upcoming meeting, the NOSB Crops Committee will present recommendations on two petitioned materials, nickel and tetracycline, and on the classification of corn steep liquor as a synthetic or non-synthetic input. The committee will also present recommendations on the 22 remaining material listings on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances otherwise scheduled to expire in 2012. All materials on the National List must go through NOSB “Sunset” review every five years, after which the board may recommend the listing be removed, extended for another five years, or further restricted or clarified via annotation. The Crops Committee will also formally respond to the National Organic Program’s memo on one of the Sunset 2012 materials, sodium nitrate, as it concerns the organic equivalency arrangement between the United States and Canada.
The Livestock Committee will present two recommendations on animal welfare: stocking rates and animal handling, transit, and slaughter. It will also present a discussion document on omnivorous diets for poultry.
The Handling Committee will present recommendations on four petitioned materials: attapulgite, calcium acid pyrophosphate, silicon dioxide, and sodium acid pyrophosphate. Other committee recommendations will address the remaining six material listings scheduled to sunset in 2012, the chlorine materials annotation, and the nutrient vitamins and minerals listing.
The Materials Committee will present a guidance document representing further work on materials classification, including processes by which the NOSB makes determinations about synthetic versus non-synthetic substances or agricultural versus non-agricultural substances.
The Compliance, Accreditation, and Certification Committee will present a discussion document on the evaluation of material review organizations, such as the Organic Materials Review Institute or the Washington State Department of Agriculture. These organizations verify inputs used in organic production or handling for their compliance with the organic regulations.
Finally, the Policy Development Committee will present recommendations on three sections of the NOSB policy and procedures manual pertaining to the review of vice chair and policy development committee roles, clarification of committee purview, and NOSB member and leadership transition.
The complete drafting of recommendations is available for view at http://www.ams.usda.gov/NOSBCommitteeRecommendations
, organized according to their respective NOSB committees. Individuals can submit comments on individual recommendations either electronically or in-person at the meeting. If done electronically, comments can be submitted in written or audiovisual form at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nosbseattle
until April 10, 2011. Comments should specify the recommendations being referenced.
Additionally, the NOSB meeting provides a public forum to discuss the organic regulations and provide recommendations. To speak publicly at the meeting, individuals may pre-register for a five-minute public comment slot by midnight Eastern Time on Sunday, April 10, 2011, by visiting http://www.ams.usda.gov/nosbseattleslots
or by calling (202) 720-3252.
For further information contact Katherine Benham or Patricia Atkins, National Organic Standards Board, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2646-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268; (202) 720-3252; email@example.com
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