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NOSB 2020 Spring Meeting

Update: The Spring 2020 NOSB Meeting will be held live online, instead of in-person.

The Spring 2020 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting will be April 29-30 via webinar. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comments is April 3 at midnight Eastern.

The primary purpose of NOSB meetings is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to give feedback 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.

  • REVIEW: Read our draft comments for the Spring 2020 Meeting – feedback requested by March 31
  • WEIGH-IN: Use our Sunset Surveys to provide feedback on over 50 inputs under sunset review – responses requested by March 31
  • SIGN-UP: Register to give webinar comments by April 3rd
  • COMMENT: Submit your written comments by April 3rd
  • WATCH: Watch the live online meeting on April 29-30 - Details coming soon
Prepare for the meeting


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Our Draft Comments are Ready for Member Review

We have prepared draft comments in response to several key topics presented in the NOSB Meeting Materials. To have your voice heard, we ask our members participate in our comment preparation. We are requesting member feedback on our draft comments by end-of-day on Tuesday, March 31.

Crops Topics

Processing/Handling Topics

Livestock Topics

General Topics

Meeting Agenda and Topics
2022 Sunset Review: Do you use these inputs?

This year, NOSB will review and vote on whether to continue the allowance of the substances listed below that are scheduled for re-review prior to their sunset (expiration) date in 2022 from the National List. These National List inputs may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are incompatible with organic production.

Inputs Used in Crop Production: Soap-based algicide/demosser; Ammonium carbonate (for use as bait in insect traps); Insecticidal soap; Vitamin D3 (rodenticide); Aquatic plant extracts (fertilizer); Lignin sulfonate (chelating agent, dust suppressant); Sodium silicate (floating agent in post-harvest handling); EPA List 4 inerts; Arsenic (prohibited); Strychnine (prohibited)

Inputs Used in Livestock Production: Butorphenol (anesthetic); Flunixin (analgesic/anti-inflammatory); Magnesium hydroxide (antacid/laxative); Poloxalene (emergency bloat treatment); Formic acid (pesticide in beehives); Excipients; EPA List 4 inerts; Strychnine (prohibited)

Inputs Used in Processing and Handling: Kaolin (anticaking agent); Sodium bicarbonate (leavening agent); Wood Rosin (fruit wax); Ammonium bicarbonate (leavening agent); Ammonium carbonate (leavening agent); Calcium phosphates (leavening agent); Ozone(disinfectant); Sodium hydroxide (caustic bath for pretzels), Inulin-oligofructose enriched (dietary fiber); Kelp (thickener/dietary supplement); Orange shellac-unbleached (fruit and veg coating); Cornstarch (thickener); Sweet Potato Starch (texturizer for bean threads); Turkish bay leaves (flavor development); Whey protein concentrate (nutritional enrichment); Carnauba wax (fruit wax); Colors; Glycerin (solvent)


If you are using any of the inputs listed above or if you are aware of a commercial supply of organic or natural alternatives, please weigh in using OTA's 2022 Sunset Review Surveys! Our surveys help to facilitate a robust comment process by collecting feedback from certified organic farms and processors, and delivering the information in a summarized confidential format to NOSB. Each survey (one for each substance) has about 10 questions addressing the necessity or essentiality of each input and take about 5 minutes to complete. The surveys are open to any NOP certified organic operation.

Learn more about the Sunset Review Process

Public Comment Opportunities

Stakeholders are invited to provide written and/or oral comments to NOSB. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comments is April 3 at midnight Eastern.

Written comments must be submitted in advance of the meeting by April 3 via (Docket AMS-NOP-19-0095).

Webinar (Oral) comments may occur during one of two webinar sessions on April 21 & 23, 2020  (3-minute slot). Commenters must SIGN UP for webinar comments. in advance of the meeting by April 3.  Webinar sessions will be expanded to accommodate as many people as possible. If you already signed up to make comments at the in-person meeting, automatically receive an email inviting you to move to one of the Public Comment Webinars. You do not need to sign up again.

Online Meeting Attendance

The Spring 2020 NOSB Meeting will be held live online, instead of in-person. This will allow the Board to move forward with deliberations as scheduled in an open and public setting, without the need for travel. Watch the NOSB Spring meeting webpage for details on the times and agenda.

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. 

Contact our Regulatory Staff

Gwendolyn Wyard
Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs
(503) 798-3294 

Johanna Mirenda
Farm Policy Director
(202) 812-7704