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Fall 2019 NOSB Meeting

The Fall 2019 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting will be October 23-25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh City Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Download our Full Meeting Report

The Organic Trade Association’s complete report on the Fall 2019 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting is now available! Of the 7 proposals considered at this meeting, all passed:

  • Fatty alcohols – proposal to allow use as sucker control in tobacco production is adopted
  • Potassium hypochlorite – proposal to allow for use as irrigation water treatment is adopted
  • Genetic integrity of seed grown on organic land – proposed instruction to certifiers is adopted
  • Vaccines made with excluded methods – proposal to permit GMO vaccines only when non-GMO versions are not commercially available is adopted
  • Excluded methods determinations – proposal to prohibit induced mutagenesis produced via in vitro nucleic acid techniques and allow livestock embryo transfer is adopted
  • Research priorities – proposed research priorities are adopted
  • Policy and Procedures Manual – proposed updates are adopted

Two substances under Sunset Review were recommended for removal:

  • Dairy cultures (Handling) - recommended that redundant listing is removed and allowance continues under the existing broader listing of Microorganisms. This recommended action will not result in any changes to the current and continued allowance of dairy cultures in organic processing and handling.
  • Alginic acid (Handling) - recommended removal and prohibition of non-organic alginic acid

Download our NOSB Resource Booklet

The Organic Trade Association’s complete guide to the Fall 2019 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting is now available! The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is sharing this booklet with its members to help explain the topics currently under NOSB consideration and to encourage participation in the public process.

Track the NOSB votes using the Organic Trade Association’s Voting Tally Sheet!

Read Our Final Comments to NOSB

In addition to providing oral comment during the scheduled webinar and at the in-person meeting, Organic Trade Association submitted written comment to NOSB in advance of the October 3 deadline. 


Handling Subcommittee

Crops Subcommittee

Materials Subcommittee

Policy Development Subcommittee

Livestock Subcommittee

Meeting Agenda and Topics

The Meeting Agenda and Meeting Materials (all proposals and discussion documents to be considered at the meeting) are posted and the public comment period is open. The meeting materials have been voted on by subcommittees of the NOSB, and the full Board will discuss and/or vote on the materials at the in-person meeting. Scroll down for a list of topics and links to individual meeting materials, or view the Organic Trade Association’s summary or at-a-glance list of proposals.

General topics

Crop production topics

Livestock production topics

Processing/Handling topics

2021 Sunset Review

At the fall meeting, NOSB will vote on whether to continue the allowance of several of the fertilizers, pest control products, livestock treatments, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use by certified organic operations. These National List inputs will be reviewed and voted on by NOSB based on their Sunset timeline (5-year renewal date cycle), and may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with organic production.

The specific inputs included in this Sunset review cycle include:

  • Inputs Used in Crop Production: Hydrogen peroxide (disinfectant and fungicide); Ammonium soaps (animal repellant); Horticultural oils (for pest and disease control); Pheromones (for insect management); Ferric phosphate (slug or snail bait); Potassium bicarbonate (for disease control); Magnesium sulfate (nutrient fertilizer); Hydrogen chloride (for delinting cotton seed); Ash from manure burning (prohibited for use); Sodium fluoaluminate (prohibited for use)

  • Inputs Used in Livestock Production: Atropine (medical treatment); Hydrogen peroxide (disinfectant and teat dip); Iodine (disinfectant and teat dip); Magnesium sulfate (medical treatment); Fenbendazole (parasiticide); Moxidectin (parasiticide); Peracetic acid (equipment sanitizer); Xylazine (sedative); Methionine (feed additive for poultry); Trace minerals (feed additive); Vitamins (feed additive)

  • Inputs Used in Processing and Handling: Alginic acid; Citric acid; Lactic acid; Calcium chloride; Dairy cultures; Enzymes; L-Malic acid; Magnesium sulfate; Microorganisms; Perlite (filtering aid); Potassium iodide; Yeast; Activated charcoal (filtering aid); Ascorbic acid; Calcium citrate; Ferrous sulfate; Hydrogen peroxide (sanitizer); Nutrient vitamins and minerals; Peracetic acid (sanitizer); Potassium citrate; Potassium phosphate; Sodium acid pyrophosphate (leavening agent); Sodium citrate; Tocopherols (antioxidant); Celery powder; Fish oil; Gelatin; Orange pulp, dried; Seaweed, Pacific kombu; Seaweed, Wakame


To help facilitate a robust comment process, OTA has created a survey system for collecting feedback from certified farms and processors. These electronic surveys can be used to submit feedback on each individual input currently under NOSB review. Each survey is CONFIDENTIAL, and contains about 10 short questions that will take an estimated five minutes to complete.

Listen to NOSB Comment Webinar

The oral comment period will begin with two webinars scheduled on October 15 & 17, 2019, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern. To listen to the webinars, follow the instructions below.

October 15 (1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern)

  • Please click the link below to join the webinar:
  • Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location)
    • US: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
    • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
    • Webinar ID: 517 961 383

 October 17 (1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern)

  • Please click the link below to join the webinar:
  • Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
    • US: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
    • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
    • Webinar ID: 499 112 585

If you forgot to register in advance to give oral comment at the webinars or at the in-person meeting, please email or call Michelle Arsenault, 202-720-0081, to be added to the waitlist. 

Meeting Attendance

The NOSB meeting is open to the public.The DoubleTree Hotel under the NOSB rate is now fully booked. If you have not yet made hotel arrangements, you may book a room at the overflow hotel Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh, Curio Collection by Hilton. Use this direct booking link or call 1-412-339-1870, group name: NOSB Meeting.

Mission and Structure of NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board was created through the Organic Foods Production Act, a sub-section of the 1990 Farm Bill. The Board is charged with the task of assisting the Secretary of Agriculture on which substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic farming and processing. The Board also advises the Secretary on other aspects of the organic regulations. This 15-person citizen advisory board brings together volunteers from around the United States. It is made up of four farmers/growers, two handlers/processors, one retailer, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, three environmentalists, and one USDA accredited certifying agent.