WASHINGTON, Oct. 19— Proposed recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) are open for public comment at www.ams.usda.gov/nosbsavannah in advance of its fall meeting in Savannah, Ga., Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.


The meeting of the board, which occurs twice a year, provides a public forum for the organic community to weigh-in on issues concerning organic production and processing. During the upcoming meeting, the board will review substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances that are scheduled to “sunset” in 2013. As part of the sunset review process, the board reviews all substances on the National List every five years to recommend renewing, removing or changing each listing. The board will also present recommendations and updates on animal welfare, sulfur dioxide, and arachidonic acid (ARA) single-cell oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) algal oil. Other recommendations will address material review organizations, unannounced inspections and inspector qualifications. The full agenda of topics and currently proposed recommendations is available at www.ams.usda.gov/nosbsavannah.


Written comments on the proposed recommendations can be submitted up to Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, at www.regulations.gov.


The meeting is open to the public, but those interested in sharing comments orally at the meeting are required to register in advance. The deadline for pre-registration to share comments is midnight Eastern Time on Nov. 13, 2011. More information about commenting requirements is available in the Federal Register notice published at www.regulations.gov (search keyword or ID AMS-NOP-11-0081-0001).


The NOSB, an independent body of the organic industry and stakeholder representatives commissioned by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, recommends whether a substance should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling, assists in developing standards for substances to be used in organic production and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on other aspects of the organic law. Twice a year in the spring and fall, the board convenes to listen to public comments, discuss specific items pertaining to organic agriculture and vote on recommendations for the National Organic Program to consider.


Interested persons may visit www.ams.usda.gov/nosbsavannah to view NOSB recommendations and the meeting agenda and submit and/or view public comments. To receive further information about the meeting or to request copies of available materials, please contact Ms. Lorraine Coke, National Organic Standards Board, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2646-So., Mail Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268; Phone: (202) 720-3252; nosb@ams.usda.gov.




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