The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a Federal Advisory Board made up of 15 dedicated public volunteers from across the organic community. Established by the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) and governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the NOSB considers and makes recommendations on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of organic products. The NOSB also has special responsibilities related to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.
Each NOSB member is appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for a five-year term. USDA publishes a call for nominations each Spring, and newly appointed members begin service in January of the following year.
NOSB members include: four organic farmers/growers, three environmental/resource conservationists, three consumer/public interest representatives, two organic handlers/ processors, one retailer, one scientist (toxicology, ecology or biochemistry), and one USDA accredited certifying agent.
The NOSB generally meets twice per year at a public meeting to discuss the items on its work agenda, vote on proposals, and make recommendations to the Secretary. AMS and the NOSB value transparency and invite public input via advance written and in-person oral comments. All meetings are free and open to the public.
If an NOSB proposal receives a decisive vote (2/3 majority) by Board members in favor of the proposed motion, it becomes a recommendation to the USDA, and is provided to the Secretary through the AMS National Organic Program.