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Organic stakeholder feedback is critical! 

Over the course of its next two meetings, NOSB will review the large majority of the fertilizers, pest control products, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use by certified organic operations. These production and handling inputs will be reviewed and voted on by NOSB and may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with organic production. It’s critical that NOSB hear from certified farmers and handlers prior to the April 2015 NOSB meeting on whether these inputs are consistent with and necessary for organic production, or whether there are other effective natural or organic alternatives available. 

To help facilitate a robust comment process, OTA has created a survey system for collecting feedback from certified farms and processors. The information collected will help NOSB identify the inputs that should be renewed or removed from the National List. 
 
Of the 200 plus materials that are being reviewed, several have been specifically flagged by NOSB. They are asking for additional information and/or considering removal from the National List.  


NOSB is specifically looking for weigh-in on the following inputs:  These OTA summaries will save you a lot of time. Please take a few minutes to review them and see if you use inputs on these lists. 
 - Crops sunset summary
 - Livestock sunset summary
 -  Handling sunset summary
** NOSB will be discussing the 2017 Sunset inputs at the spring meeting (April 2015) and voting at the fall meeting (October 2015). 

** NOSB will be voting on the 2016 sunset inputs at the spring meeting (April 2015). Discussions took place during the fall meeting (October 2014), 

Upcoming NOSB meeting & agenda

The next National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 27-30 in La Jolla, CA, at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla. The primary purpose of NOSB meetings is to provide an opportunity for organic stakeholders to give input on proposed NOSB recommendations and discussion items. The meetings also allow NOSB to receive updates from USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) on issues pertaining to organic agriculture. The meeting will be open to the public.
 
The final deadline to submit written comments and sign up for oral comments is Tuesday, April 7, at midnight Eastern.
 


Look for draft comments on March 31! Topics OTA is commenting on:

  • 2016 and 2017 Sunset Review Materials
  • Prevention Strategy Guidance for Excluded Methods in Crops
  • Methionine for Poultry (Livestock, Feed Additive) – petition for revised annotation
  • Alternative Livestock Healthcare Treatments – petition for addition to National List
    • Zinc Sulfate
    • Acidified Sodium Chlorite
  • Ammonium Hydroxide (Handling, Boiler Chemical) – petition for addition to the National List
  • Ancillary Substances for Microorganisms (Handling) - proposal
  • Glycerin (Handling) – petition for removal from the National List
  • Excluded Methods Terminology
  • Natural Flavors (2017 Sunset)
 


How to provide direct comment

OTA always encourages its members to provide direct comment regarding NOSB recommendations. Individuals and organizations wishing to comment at the NOSB meeting must sign up in advance by contacting Michelle Arsenault (NOSB Special Assistant) at 202-720-0081, or by reserving an in-person oral comment slot. Speaking slots for walk-in commenters may be available, but are not guaranteed.

Written comments should be submitted via Regulations.gov (keyword “AMS-NOP-15-0002”). You can search for the meeting and submit comments by clicking the link below. Deadline to submit written comments: April 7, 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

 


Structure of the NOSB meeting & public comments

As listed in the agenda, public comments are scheduled in two blocks. An open comment period is scheduled on Monday, April 27, in the morning and afternoon and on Tuesday, April 28, in the morning. Each person may sign up for only one speaking slot, followed by time for questions from the Board. The amount of time provided for public comments will be determined by the number of commenters and the time available. The Board hears comments and then discusses Subcommittee proposals and discussion documents. Deferred items and final votes will take place on Thursday, April 30, the last day of the meeting. There will be two 15-minute breaks (mid-morning & mid-afternoon) and an hour and 15-minute lunch break mid-day.

Learn more about NOSB.

 


Follow the NOSB meeting on Twitter

OTA will provide live coverage of the NOSB meeting via Twitter. Follow OTA to receive real-time updates, including public comment and Board discussions and decisions from the meeting.
 

Contact OTA staff with questions or concerns
 

Gwendolyn Wyard
Senior Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
(503) 798-3294
 
Nathaniel Lewis
Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist
(360) 388-6422


Please forward this e-mail if you know organic producers or handlers that should participate!
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