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Spring 2019 Meeting

The Spring 2019 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting will be April 24-26 at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle, WA. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comments is April 4 at midnight Eastern.

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

Public Comment Opportunities

Stakeholders are invited to provide written and/or oral comments to the NOSB. Oral comments may occur during one of two webinar sessions, or at the in-person meeting. Oral comment registration will open when the NOSB proposals are posted. Please note that stakeholders may only sign up for one comment slot.

  • Webinars: April 16 & 18, 2019, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern (3 minute comment slot)
  • In-person meeting: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 (3 minute comment slot)

Written comments must be submitted in advance of the meeting via

The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comments is April 4th at midnight Eastern.

Meeting Attendance

The NOSB meeting is open to the public. Stakeholders that would like to attend the meeting in person can call the hotel at 1-800-468-3571 or 206-583-300and use the group name “National Organic Standards Board Meeting April 2019”. The reservation cutoff is April 3, 2019.

Meeting Agenda and Topics

A preliminary draft agenda has been posted and the docket for accepting public comments is now open. A detailed agenda, along with the proposals, will be published approximately 6 weeks before the meeting (approximately Wednesday, March 13).

2021 Sunset Review will be included on the agenda as discussion items. See below for a list of specific inputs that are currently allowed and are undergoing sunset review this year in advance of their sunset date. In addition, we anticipate that the following topics will also be included in the agenda:

Crop production topics: Marine plants used as crop inputs (discussion); Ammonium citrate (petition); Ammonium glycinate (petition); Calcium acetate (petition); Paper pots (petition); Allyl Isothiocyanate (petition); Liquid fish production annotation (discussion); Protecting the Genetic Integrity of Seed Grown on Organic Land

Livestock production topics: Oxalic Acid (petition for use in apiculture)

Processing/Handling topics: Silver hydrogen citrate (petition); Pullulan (petition); Collagen Gel (casing) (petition)

General/All sectors: Import Oversight: Excluded Methods Terminology/Determinations; 2020 Research priorities (discussion); Genetic Integrity Transparency

2021 Sunset Review

This year (2019), the National Organic Standards Board (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:

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)

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)

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

Take me to the 2021 Sunset Surveys (Reviewed in 2019)    

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.

Learn more about the Sunset Review Process

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.


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

Johanna Mirenda
Farm Policy Director
(202) 812-7704