USDA Appoints Members to the National Organic Standards Board

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 11:00am
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Release No.: 164-15

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed six new members to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) today, adding valuable perspectives to the 15-member advisory board. Appointees will begin their service on the NOSB on January 24, 2016.

The new members will fill positions that are specifically designated to represent various sectors of the organic community. The appointees include: Harriet Behar from Wisconsin as an environmental protection and resource conservation expert; Jesse Buie from Mississippi and Emily Oakley from Oklahoma as the two new organic producer representatives; Scott Rice from Oregon as the new accredited certifying agent representative; and Vena Romero-Briones from Hawaii and Daniel Seitz from Massachusetts as the two new public interest or consumer interest group representatives.

Made up of dedicated public volunteers appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, NOSB members include four organic farmers; two handlers; three experts in environmental protection and resource conservation; three representatives of public interest or consumer groups; an expert in toxicology, ecology, or biochemistry; an organic retailer; and an organic certifying agent representative. 

The NOSB was established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, and operates in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), to assist in developing standards for substances used in organic production and to advise the Secretary on aspects of the National Organic Program (NOP).

As the agency responsible for overseeing the NOSB, the Agricultural Marketing Service ensures that membership accounts for the needs of the diverse groups served by the USDA.

For further information about the NOSB, visit

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