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

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 11:00am

AMS No.  026-16

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2016 –The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will hold a public meeting in Washington, D.C., from April 25-27, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

The board meeting provides a forum for the organic community to provide input on issues concerning organic production and processing.  During the meeting, which is open to the public, the board will address several petitions pertaining to changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.  The agenda of topics and current proposals are available on the meeting webpage at

The meeting will take place at the Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, (202) 234-0700,  

In advance of the meeting, the NOSB is accepting public comments. Written comments on the proposals can be submitted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 14, 2016, at

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 April 14, 2016, to provide oral comments.  Registration is not required to attend the meeting, only to provide oral comments. More information about commenting requirements is available on the meeting webpage.  

The public is invited to provide oral comments during one of two sessions – at the meeting or during a webinar. The webinar will be held on April 19, 2016, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern.  Commenters must sign up in advance, and additional information can be found on the meeting webpage.

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 that report to the full board 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, D.C. 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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