The National Organic Program (NOP) receives recommendations on policy and proposed regulatory changes from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). This 15 member board is comprised of specialists in various areas of the organic industry. The experts also rely on YOU, the organic community, to provide comments on their proposals and deliberations in order to make the best decisions on how to move our industry forward.
NOSB meetings are held twice a year at various locations, and members of the public are encouraged to show up and let the board know how they feel about the posted agenda and recommendations.
The next National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held October 22-24, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY. The meeting agenda (PDF) is now available. Subcommittee proposals can be viewed by selecting the drop-down menu or by clicking on the links provided below. You can search for the meeting using docket number: AMS-NOP-13-0049.
Why is it important to participate?
Individuals from the trade are often sorely lacking in numbers at most meetings. The room is often filled with associations and certifiers expressing the opinions of their constituents. Hardworking producers, manufactures, brokers and retailers whose businesses live or die by these policy changes are conspicuously absent. As a participant in your organic destiny, it is important that you are aware of the NOSB agenda. You can sign up to receive notification of the meeting times, locations and agendas at the NOP Insider newsletter.
Educate yourself on the full ramifications of the proposed changes and remember there are usually at least two sides to every story. Your immediate emotional response may not necessarily be the right pathway to protect our industry.
Once you have an opinion on the proposal it is imperative to make a public comment for the record. The NOSB relies on these comments more than you realize. If you disagree with the proposal, let the NOSB know why and how this affects you and your business in the organic industry. If you agree with the proposal, it is equally important to make your comments of support. Just because the NOSB makes a recommendation doesn’t mean it will be passed. Many a proposal that has been initially endorsed by the NOSB has been taken down by a plethora of negative comments while those in support stood silent or failed to make comments.
Don’t be lulled into complacency. Your voice counts regardless of your stance on the proposals the NOSB brings forward.
Do not delay. The deadline for the next meeting to submit written public comments and sign up for oral public comments is Tuesday, October 1, at midnight Eastern Standard Time.
In order for the Board to review comments prior to the meeting, comments must be submitted by October 1, 2013, 11:59 pm EST.
Submit Comments via Regulations.gov
In order to schedule and notify people of their speaking times, the board must receive requests for oral comment slots by October 1, 2013, 11:59 pm EST.
Request an In-Person Comment Slot
Get involved and make your voice heard. The NOP and the NOSB are anxiously waiting to hear from you.
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Melody L Meyer
VP Policy and Industry Relations UNFI
phone 401.528.8634 ext 62225
Visit my Blog at http://www.organicmattersblog.com
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