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NOSB Spring 2022 Meeting

The Spring 2022 Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) took place virtually on April 26-28. 

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. 



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Read our final NOSB Meeting Report

Our National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring 2022 Meeting Report is now available!

On April 26, NOSB kicked off its three-day biannual public meeting via live webinar. NOSB considered 7 proposals, 4 discussion documents and over 30 sunset materials. The meeting welcomed four new NOSB members Elizabeth Graznak (resource conservationist), Allison Johnson (public interest), Dr. Dilip Nandwani (scientist), and Javier Zamora (producer).

Prior to diving into NOSB deliberations, Dr. Jenny Tucker, Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program (NOP), provided an update on NOP activities and priorities and unveiled a new database to track petitioned substances. Sean Babington, USDA Senior Climate Advisor, and Adam Chambers of the Natural Resource Conservation Service, each gave presentations on the important role of organic agriculture in USDA’s initiative to support climate-smart agriculture. Mat Ngouajio, National Science Liaison, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, provided an update on Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions (ORG) programs that support organic agriculture. Finally, driving home the climate benefits of organic seed and its importance to organic integrity, Kiki Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance, presented a report on the State of Organic Seed.

In preparation for the NOSB meeting, the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) regulatory staff carried out an extensive process of membership engagement to capture how NOSB proposals will impact certified organic farmers and handlers. OTA and The Organic Center then gave public testimony and submitted written comments on behalf of OTA membership. The full report includes detailed notes on each agenda item up for deliberation, a recap of the discussions, and a complete list of all votes and next steps. 

Key updates and meeting outcomes: 

  • The week of the NOSB meeting marked the 20th anniversary of the day the first certifiers were officially approved by USDA! We continue to be proud to say that the USDA organic label is the only eco-label backed by 3rd party certification and federal oversight and enforcement. Thank you, certifiers!
  • NOP provided updates on several of OTA’s top priorities:
    • Origin of Livestock (OOL) Final Rule was published. Training for certifiers and operations will be available in the Organic Integrity Learning Center later this year. OTA will continue to keep OTA members updated with briefings and reports.
    • Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) Proposed Rule was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in December 2022. NOP is working with OMB to support its review process. OTA is standing ready to analyze the submitted comments in support of immediate access to meaningful outdoor access.
    • Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Final Rule is in legal review (an early step in USDA clearance process after it leaves the NOP.)
    • NOP summarized the 572 written public comments on how to best prioritize the backlog of NOSB Recommendations for practice standards. As a result of public comments, NOP is elevating the NOSB recommendations to strengthen organic seed usage and develop specific standards for hydroponic and container production. Going forward, NOP is committed to greater transparency and accountability around its rulemaking priorities and decisions.
    • The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Inerts (List 3 & 4) is in legal review.
    • USDA will proceed with the rulemaking process to prohibit ammonia extracts as recommended by the NOSB in its Fall 2021 Recommendation. USDA plans to advance those recommendations independently from NOSB’s current work on Highly Soluble Nitrogen presented at this meeting. OTA continues to support the prohibition on ammonia extracts.
  • NOSB unanimously passed the proposals on Highly Soluble Nitrogen Fertilizers, Excluded Methods and a minor update to the NOSB Policy and Procedure Manual on the Public Comment Process. All other proposals failed or were sent back to subcommittee for further work.

Download Our Spring 2022 NOSB Meeting Report

Download our NOSB Meeting Quick Resource Guide

Our Spring 2022 Meeting Resource Guide is now available! In service to our members, we have prepared this brief guide to highlight key resources, the meeting schedule, and topics currently under NOSB consideration. 

Spring 2022 Meeting Resource Guide

Read Our Final Comments

The Organic Trade Association submitted final comments to NOSB

Livestock Subcommittee

Compliance, Accreditation, and Certification Subcommittee

Handling Subcommittee

Materials Subcommittee

Crops Subcommittee

Meeting Agenda and Topics

The NOSB Spring 2022 Meeting Agenda and Meeting Packet are available and the comment period is open. NOSB is presenting 7 proposals for a vote, 4 discussion documents, and 30 sunset materials for discussion. As a service to our members, we have condensed the 154-page meeting packet into a 16-page comprehensive summary.  

Crop Production Topics 

  • Highly Soluble Nitrogen Fertilizers 
  • Cell and protoplast fusion 
  • Carbon Dioxide (Crops)  
  • Tall Oil 
  • 2024 Sunset Review – see below for list of substances and survey links 

Livestock Production Topics 

  • 2024 Sunset Review – see below for list of substances and survey links 

Processing and Handling Topics 

  • Cetylpyridinium Chloride (Handling)  
  • Phosphoric Acid (Handling) 
  • 2024 Sunset Review – see below for list of substances and survey links 

General Topics: 

  • NOSB Technical Support Initiative  
  • Modernization of organic traceability infrastructure 
  • NOP Risk Mitigation Table  
  • Public Comment Process  
  • NOSB 2022 Research Priorities  
2024 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 2024 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 April 1 comment deadline for the Spring 2022 NOSB Meeting and explain whether these inputs are still necessary for organic production or if natural or organic alternatives are available. The feedback will inform the proposal and vote made at the Fall 2022 NOSB meeting. 

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 anonymous 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:  

Submitting Public Comments

Members of the public may submit written comments and/or provide oral comments. 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, April 1, 2022

Written comments may be submitted via (Docket # AMS-NOP-21-0087) by 11:59 p.m. ET, April 1, 2022

Members of the public may also sign up for a 3-minute oral comment slot. Oral comments may be provided on either April 19 or April 21. Advanced registration is required using this form by 11:59 p.m. ET, April 1, 2022

Meeting Dates & 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.

Watch/Listen to the comment webinars on April 19 & 21, 2022: 

  • Public Comment Webinar Day 1: Tuesday, April 19 from Noon - 5:00 pm Eastern 
  • Public Comment Webinar Day 2: Thursday, April 21 from Noon - 5:00 pm Eastern 

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device. Use the same link for both days. 
Meeting ID: 161 431 3951 

Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 
+1 669 254 5252 US (San Jose) 
+1 646 828 7666 US (New York) 
+1 551 285 1373 US 

Watch/Listen to the public meeting on April 26-28, 2022: 

  • NOSB Public Meeting Day 1: Tuesday, April 26 from Noon - 5:00 pm Eastern 
  • NOSB Public Meeting Day 2: Wednesday, April 27 from Noon - 5:00 pm Eastern 
  • NOSB Public Meeting Day 3: Thursday, April 28 from Noon - 5:00 pm Eastern 

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device. Use the same link for all three days. 
Meeting ID: 161 167 7131 

Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 
+1 669 254 5252  or 
+1 646 828 7666  or 
+1 551 285 1373   

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
Scott Rice
Sr. Director, Regulatory Affairs
(503) 784-7393