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USDA's National Organic Standards Board to Meet November 3-5, 2009

By Joan Shaffer and Billy Cox| USDA

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2009 – U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet Nov. 3-5 at The Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005. Sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4; and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. All sessions are open to the public.

NOSB committees will present recommendations to the full board for a vote concerning the use or prohibition of 3 petitioned substances; the continued use of 11 of the 12 substances due to expire in September 2011; and the technical corrections proposed to the annotations regarding 4 livestock materials currently allowed for use on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.

The NOSB committees will also present recommendations on guidance for accredited certifying agents, the National Organic Program (NOP), and retail stores on retail certification; on standards for the management of bivalves and for terrestrial plants in containers or enclosures.

In addition, the NOSB committees will present recommendations on changes in the current standards to clarify the definitions of the National List; to prohibit nanotechnology in organic production, processing, and packaging; to clarify the labeling and enforcement of organic cosmetics in the marketplace; and to strengthen animal welfare practices for livestock and poultry. The NOSB committees will also make recommendations regarding revisions to the NOSB policy and procedures manual and will discuss their progress on the reclassification of inerts used in pest management materials in crops. The NOSB will receive an update from the NOP and will hear committee progress reports regarding work plans and discussion items.

Comments may be submitted in writing to Valerie Frances, Executive Director, NOSB, USDA-AMS-TMD-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Room 4004-S, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, D.C.20250-0268, or online at www.regulations.gov.The comments should identify Docket Number AMS-TM-09-0060.The deadline for all comments, whether submitted by mail or the internet, is Monday, October 19, 2009. Comments will be available for viewing on the www.regulations.gov website.

Time for public input for Tuesday, Nov. 3, is from 10:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.There will be separate sign-up sheets for each segment.

Requests to make an oral presentation at the meeting may be sent by mail to Valerie Frances at the postal address above, by email to [email protected], by facsimile to (202) 205-7808, or by phone to (202) 720-3252, and must be received by close of business Oct. 19.If time is available, attendees may sign up for additional public input at the meeting.

The main mission of the National Organic Standards Board is to assist the Secretary in developing standards for substances to be used in organic production. The NOSB also advises the Secretary on other aspects of implementing the National Organic Program. The current board is comprised of four farmers/growers, two handlers/processors, one retailer, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, three environmentalists, and one USDA accredited certifying agent who sit on various committees. Members come from all four U.S. regions.

For more information, contact Valerie Frances, Executive Director, NOSB, NOP, (202) 720-3252, or visit the NOP home page at www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

 

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