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USDA Seeks Public Feedback on Organic Standards

by 5m Editor
23 September 2010, at 8:05am

US - USDA is seeking feed-back from the public on the latest proposed recommendation from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).

The US Department of Agriculture is inviting the public to participate in the biannual meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on 25 to 28 October 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. The meeting is an opportunity for the organic community to provide recommendations and discuss topics concerning organic agriculture.

Some of the items to be discussed at the meeting include nanotechnology; apiculture; use of animal healthcare products; 'made with' organic ingredient claims; animal handling, transit and slaughter; animal stocking rates; corn steep liquor; yeast; colors; and nutrient vitamins and minerals. NOSB will also present recommendations concerning those materials petitioned for inclusion on the National List of Allowable and Prohibited Substances, in addition to determining whether to relist materials currently on the National List. A full listing of items on the agenda and proposed recommendations are available online [click here].

The USDA encourages the public to provide comments on these recommendations. Once compiled, the recommendations are submitted to the USDA National Organic Program for further consideration and potential inclusion in the federal organic regulations. Individuals can submit comments either electronically or in-person at the meeting. Written comments may be submitted, preferably electronically [click here] or by contacting Lisa Ahramjian, NOSB Executive Director, at nosb@ams.usda.gov or (202) 720-3252. All comments should identify Document Number AMS-NOP-10-0068 and must be received by Tuesday 12 October 2010.

In-person comment sessions have been scheduled for Monday 25 October, 10:15 to 5:30 p.m. CDT and Wednesday 27 October, 8 to 5 p.m. CDT. To reserve a five-minute timeslot, please contact Ms Ahramjian by 12 October. All persons making oral presentations are requested to provide their comments in writing and indicate the topic of their comment, referencing specific NOSB recommendations or noting if they plan to cover multiple topics.

The NOSB originated as a result of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.). It is responsible for making recommendations about whether a substance should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling; assisting in developing standards for substances used in organic production; and advising the Secretary on other aspects of the Act’s implementation. The 15-member Congressionally-mandated advisory board comprises organic producers and handlers, environmentalists, consumer advocates, a scientist, an organic retailer, and an organic certifier.