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 who own or operate an organic farming operation; two who own or operate an organic handling operation; one who owns or operates a retail establishment with significant trade in organic products; three with expertise in areas of environmental protection and resource conservation; three who represent public interest or consumer interest groups; one with expertise in the fields of toxicology, ecology, or biochemistry; and one who is a 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.
NOP main office: 202-720-3252
1400 Independence Avenue, SW,
Room 2648, Ag Stop 0268,
Washington, DC 20250
- Memos to the NOSB
- NOSB Fact Sheet (pdf)
- Charter (pdf)
- Policies & Procedures Manual (pdf)
- June 2000 - NOSB Comments on Proposed Rule (pdf)
- October 1998 - International Committee Proposed Recommendation On Fumigation (pdf)
- 1997 - "Toward Organic Integrity” (Green Book) - Sligh (pdf)
Discussion documents, recommendations, reports and/or other documents prepared by the National Organic Standards Board, including its subcommittee and task forces, represent the views of the National Organic Standards Board and do not necessarily represent the views and policies of the Department of Agriculture or of other agencies in the Executive branch of the Federal government. NOSB documents, including subcommittee notes, do not create or confer legal rights or impose any legally binding requirements on the Department of Agriculture or any party. Please see the NOP website for official NOP policy, regulations, and status of substances used in organic production and handling.