USDA Announces Meeting for the National Organic Standards Board; Invites Public Comments

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 3:00pm

Release No.: 114-15

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2015 –The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will have a public meeting in Stowe, Vermont from October 26-29, 2015.  In advance of the meeting, the NOSB is accepting public comments.

The board meeting provides a public forum for the organic community to weigh in on issues concerning organic production and processing.  During the meeting, the board will address several petitions pertaining to changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, including substances due to sunset in 2017 and 2018.  The agenda of topics and current proposals are available at

The meeting will take place at the Stoweflake Conference Center, 1746 Mountain Road Stowe, VT  05672, (802) 253-7355,  Written comments on the proposals can be submitted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 5, 2015, at  While the meeting is open to the public, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites those interested in speaking at the meeting to register in advance.  Interested individuals must pre-register no later than Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, to provide oral comments.  More information about commenting requirements is available at

The public is invited to provide verbal comments during one of three sessions – at the meeting, or two webinar opportunities.  The webinars will be held on Oct. 13 and 20, 2015, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern.  Commenters must sign up in advance, and additional information can be found at

The NOSB is an advisory committee of organic community and stakeholder representatives established by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. It is administered through AMS. The board recommends whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling, assists in developing standards for substances to be used in organic production, and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on other aspects of the organic regulations.

Twice a year, the board convenes to listen to public comments, discuss specific items pertaining to organic agriculture, and vote on recommendations for the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) to consider. Currently, the NOSB has six subcommittees working on various topics of interest to the NOP. The subcommittees are: Compliance, Accreditation, and Certification; Crops; Handling; Livestock; Materials/Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); and Policy Development. 

To receive further information about the meeting or to request copies of available materials, please contact Michelle Arsenault, National Organic Standards Board, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2646-So., Mail Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268; Phone: (202) 720-3252;

The NOP, part of the Agricultural Marketing Service, is responsible for ensuring the integrity of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s organic agricultural products in the United States and throughout the world. More information is available at

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