Mar 25, 2020
NOSB spring meeting to be held online
Stephen Kloosterman

Hold those travel plans – public participation in the spring meeting of the National Organic Standards Board will move online.

The National Organic Program (NOP) recently announced changes to the April 29-30 meetings – as well as the April 21 and 23 public comment periods – as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As always, communication between the organic industry and government is key. People have expressed the importance of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) spring meeting, while also expressing concerns about traveling,” NOP wrote in its Organic Insider newsletter. “This will allow the Board to move forward with deliberations in an open and public setting, without needing to travel.

Two webinar-based public comment periods will be held Tuesday, April 21 and Thursday April 23 – the NOP said it would add more time slots if needed. Comment sign up instructions are online. It’s also possible to submit written comments online or by snail mail.

The public meeting will be held live online April 29-30 through a webinar format. Times and agenda information will be posted to the NOSB spring meeting webpage.

The virtual meeting will be open to the public and the transcript will be posted online after the meeting, as usual, the NOP said.

The event had previously been planned to be held in Crystal City, Virginia.

A variety of topics are scheduled for discussion and decision-making:

  • A proposal to allow plant pots and other crop production aids such as paper pots.
  • A discussion on using wild and native fish for liquid fish products.
  • A discussion on an annotation change about biodegradable, biobased mulch.
  • A review of substances for various substances set to sunset or expire from the National Organic Program in 2022.
  • A petition to change the classification of L-malic acid from a nonagricultural (nonorganic) non-synthetic allowed substance to a nonagricultural synthetic allowed substance.
  • A discussion on Ione exchange filtration.
  • A discussion on a requested annotation about the use of fish oil.
  • A discussion on the NOSB’s research priorities in 2020.

Stephen Kloosterman is the managing editor of Organic Grower

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