Main Menu New

Home > NOSB 2020 Fall Meeting

NOSB 2020 Fall Meeting

The Fall 2020 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting was held October 28-30 via live online webinar. The Organic Trade Association’s Meeting Report is now available.

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.


Blue and Green

Main color: 
Title Hover: 
Title Active: 
Download our NOSB Report

The Organic Trade Association’s complete report on the fall 2020 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting is now available for download.

At-A-Glance Meeting Outcomes

PROPOSALS: NOSB considered 8 proposal at this meeting and 4 PASSED:

  • Allowance of Low Acyl Gellan Gum in food processing as a gelling agent
  • Restrictive harvest parameters Marine Macroalgae in seaweed and kelp-based crop fertilizers
  • Restrictive sources of Fish in liquid fish-based fertilizers
  • Identified 2020 Research Priorities for organic food and agriculture

SUNSET REVIEWS: NOSB voted on over 50 National List inputs to determine whether these substances should remain on the National List at the fall 2020 meeting. Of them, 12 substances are recommended for REMOVAL:

  • 8 types of natural colors
  • Kelp
  • Sweet potato starch
  • Turkish bay leaves
  • Whey protein concentrate


  • Call for action on inert ingredients in pest controls
  • NOP announcement on Origin of Livestock
  • Ion exchange filtration and food contact substances
Read Our Final Comments
Meeting Agenda and Topics

Meeting Agenda and Topics

The Meeting Agenda and Meeting Packet (All Proposal, Discussion Documents and Sunset Reviews) are available and the public comment period is open. As a service to our members we have condensed the 175-page meeting packet into a 14-page summary.

  • Crop production topics: 
    • Marine Macroalgae (Seaweed/Kelp) used in crop fertility inputs (Proposal)
    • Paper Pots and other Paper-based planting aids (Proposal)
    • Wild, Native Fish used in liquid fish fertilizers (Proposal)
    • Sodium carbonate lignin (Proposal)
    • Ammonia Extract (Discussion)
    • Biodegradable biobased mulch (Discussion)
    • Sunset Review (See below for more info)
  • Livestock production topics: 
    • Fenbendazole as parasiticide for poultry (Proposal)
    • Sunset Review (See below for more info)
  • Processing and Handling: 
    • Ion Exchange Filtration (Proposal)
    • Low Acyl Gellan Gum (Proposal)
    • Whey Protein Concentrate (Discussion)
    • Sunset Review (See below for more info)
  • General/All sectors: 
    • Research Priorities (Proposal)
    • Human Capital Management (Discussion)
    • Consent Calendar Voting (Discussion)
2022 Sunset Review: Do you use these inputs?

2022 Sunset Review: Do you use these inputs?

This fall, NOSB will 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 harmful to human health or the environment, or 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 SurveysOur 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

Meeting Attendance

Meeting Attendance

The Fall 2020 NOSB Meeting will be held live online on October 28, 29, and 30 between Noon – 5:00 pm Eastern. 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 fall meeting webpage for details on instructions for accessing the live online webinar by computer and/or phone.

  • Click here to register to watch the public comment sessions on October 20 & 22, 2020 between Noon – 5:00 pm Eastern.
  • Click here to watch the live public comment on October 28-30 between Noon – 5:00 pm Eastern.
Mission and Structure of NOSB

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