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NOSB Fall 2021 Meeting

The Fall 2021 Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will take place in Sacramento, CA on October 19-21. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comment at either the webinar or in-person meeting is 11:59 p.m. ET, September 30, 2021.

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.

Prepare for the Meeting


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Meeting Agenda and Topics

A detailed agenda packet with the proposals, discussion items, and petitions, is expected to be published on or before September 1, 2021. We expect the following topics to be included on the agenda of the Fall 2021 meeting. The exact content of the agenda will be confirmed once NOSB agenda packet is published.

Crop Production Topics

  • 2023 Sunset Review – see below for list of substances and survey links
  • Ammonia extract – petition to prohibit non-synthetic ammonia extract fertilizers
  • Biodegradable mulch – proposal to amend current definition and restrictions
  • Chitosan – petitions (2) for use as plant disease control and as coagulant for fertilizer
  • Biochar – petition for use of cow-manure derived biochar as a soil amendment
  • Kasugamycin – petition to allow for control of fire blight disease
  • Hydronium – petition for use as pH adjuster in the production of dehydrated manure fertilizers
  • Lithothamnion – respond to NOP request for information on the classification as agricultural and eligibility for wild crop certification
  • Carbon Dioxide – petition for use as an irrigation water pH adjuster
  • Tall Oil, Distilled – petition to allow as an inert ingredient in crop and livestock pest controls


Livestock Production Topics

  • 2023 Sunset Review – see below for list of substances and survey links


Processing and Handling Topics

  • Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) – petition for use as an antimicrobial processing aid for poultry processing
  • Phosphoric acid – petition to allow for use as a pH adjuster for extractions of plants of the Lamiaceae family
  • Zein – petition for use as a processing aid and glaze in food handling
  • Peroxylactic Acid (PLA) – petition for use as an antimicrobial processing aid for meat and poultry products
  • Fish oil – prohibition of fish caught directly for the sole use of its oil and from species and regions that are overfished or exploited
  • L-Malic acid – reclassification as synthetic


General Topics:

  • Excluded Methods – evaluating new technologies against existing definition of excluded methods
  • NOSB 2021 Research Priorities – evaluating research priorities for the organic food and agriculture sector
2023 Sunset Review: List of Substances & Survey Links

This year, NOSB will discuss 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 2023 from the National List. These National List inputs may not be renewed if new information indicates these substances are harmful to human health or the environment, are not necessary because natural or organic alternatives are available, and/or incompatible with organic production. (Learn more about the Sunset Review Process)

Do you use any of the substances listed below? It’s critical that organic stakeholders weigh in by the comment deadline for the Fall 2021 NOSB Meeting and explain whether these inputs are still necessary for organic production. The feedback will inform the proposal and vote made at the fall meeting (October 2021).

Inform our comments by completing our Sunset Surveys! To help facilitate the comment process, OTA has created a survey system for collecting feedback from certified organic farms and processors. Below are links to electronic surveys that can be used to submit feedback on each individual material currently under NOSB review. Each survey is CONFIDENTIAL and takes about five minutes to complete. The information collected will be passed along to NOSB via OTA’s comments.

Why should you care? The inputs listed below are fertilizers, pest control products, livestock treatments, processing aids, and ingredients currently allowed for use under certain restrictions by certified organic operations. In short, they are production inputs that help to grow and process organic products. It’s critical that NOSB hear from certified farmers and handlers during this open comment period on whether these inputs are essential and/or necessary for organic production and should remain on the National List, or whether there are other effective natural or organic alternatives available.


Inputs Used in Crop Production:

Inputs Used in Livestock Production: 

Inputs Used in Processing and Handling: 

Meeting Attendance

NOSB public comment webinars and meeting days are free and open to the public. Registration is not required unless you wish to provide public comment. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comment at either the webinar or in-person meeting is 11:59 p.m. ET, September 30, 2021.

Two days of public comment webinars will be held virtually via webinars scheduled on October 13 and 14 from Noon – 5:00pm Eastern each day and also at the in-person meeting on October 19 & 20. Instructions for the virtual public comment webinars will be provided approximately one week in advance.

The three-day NOSB Meeting will be held in-person at the Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown Arena (300 J Street) in Sacramento, CA on October 19 – 21 from 8:30am – 6:00pm Pacific each day.

If you plan to attend the in-person meeting and stay at the hotel where the meeting is taking place, you may use this reservation list 2021 Fall NOSB Board Meeting or call 1-877-666-3243 (Group name: National Organic Standards Board) for a bock rate until Friday, September 24, 2021.

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