National organics meeting begins today; watch by Zoom or listen by phone

Today marks the beginning of the semi-annual meeting of the National Organic Standards Board, which advises the USDA’s National Organic Program on policies and regulations.

The five-day meeting will be live online with a recorded version to be posted on the National Organic Program website. 

“With input from the Board and the organic community, we are modifying the NOSB Fall 2021 meeting to 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,” according to a notice posted by the board.

“The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) typically meets twice per year in various locations around the United States. During the meetings, the NOSB listens to public comments, discusses petitions to add or remove substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), reviews substances due to sunset from the list and votes on recommendations to the Secretary in a public forum.”

Public comments are scheduled for today and tomorrow, Oct. 14. All speakers making public comments have signed up and been notified by email of the commenting order. Speakers will be called on when it is their turn.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), is a 15-member volunteer advisory board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. It meets twice each year in a public forum to discuss and vote on recommendations to the USDA.

“NOSB recommendations are an important tool to assist the (USDA) in developing standards for organically produced products. The open meetings allow for public input on topics of interest to the organic community, and resulting standards support farmer and consumer confidence in the integrity of the USDA organic seal,” according to a statement from the board.

Members of the public will be able to hear the live comments, Board deliberations, and see any slides presented. Only Board members may ask questions.

The timetable is as follows:

•    Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 13-14, Noon – 6 pm Eastern

  • Tuesday, Oct. 19 from noon – 6 pm Eastern
  • Wednesday, Oct. 20 from noon – 6 pm Eastern
  • Thursday, Oct. 21 from noon – 6 pm Eastern

The meeting Zoom links, full agenda, proposals, discussion documents and Federal Register notice are available on the NOSB Fall 2021 Meeting webpage.

For those who wish to join by phone, please call the appropriate number below and enter missing number 160 703 3566 For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location:

+1 669 254 5252 US (San Jose)
+1 551 285 1373 (US)
+1 646 828 7666 US (New York)
Meeting ID:  160 703 3566

International numbers are available at: https://zoom.us/u/aewOZJsOJw

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