NOSB Forwards National Organic Standards Recommendations to USDA.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has forwarded most of its recommended
standards for the National Organic Program to USDA. NOSB is an advisory group
to Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Espy. The board's recommendations include an
organic farm plan for both corp and livestock producers and an organic handling
plan for handlers and processors. The plans provide for a production management
system that is the cornerstone of organic certification. For the producer, the
farm plan is a useful tool for developing an ecologically sound resource
management system on the farm. For the processor the handling plan assists in
the incorporation of practices necessary to maintain the organic nature of the
foods being processed. The plans also will provide certifiers with essential
information needed to insure compliance with the National Organic Program.
In addition to the organic plans, NOSB's recommendations include proposed
standards and procedures for organic production and handling practices formulated
by its five working committees: Crop Standards; Livestock Standards; handing and
Labeling; Accreditation; and International Issues. A full set of the board's
recommendations can be obtained from Dr. Hal Ricker, Organic Program, AMS, USDA,
PO Box 96456, Room 4006-S, Washington, DC 20090-6456;
Telephone: (202) 720-2704.
Meanwhile, USDA is seeking nominations for possible appointment to the NOSB to
represent farmers, handlers or processors, retailers and environmentalists.
Nominees to the farmer, handler, processor and retailer categories must either
own or operate an organic farm, an organic handling or processing operation or
a retail establishment with significant trade in organic products. Nominees to
the environmentalist category must be experts in environmental or resource
conservation. Members will be selected based on : demonstrated experience and
interest in organics; commodity and geographic representation; endorsed support
of industry organizations; demonstrated experience with environmental concerns;
and other factors appropriate for specific positions.
Written nominations, with resumes, must be postmarked or before September 30,
1994. Nominations should be sent to Dr. Ricker at the address indicated above.