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NOSB Memos, Coexistence + Conservation Programs

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has sent two memos to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) related to substances in organic production and handling. Additionally, USDA is currently requesting feedback on ways to foster communication and collaboration among those involved in diverse agricultural production systems in order to further agricultural coexistence.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has sent two memos to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) related to substances in organic production and handling.

Additionally, USDA is currently requesting feedback on ways to foster communication and collaboration among those involved in diverse agricultural production systems in order to further agricultural coexistence.

Memos to NOSB

AMS published memos to the NOSB on the following topics:

  1. Substances in personal care products
  2. Due to the absence of Federal standards for organic personal care products, AMS will no longer accept petitions to add substances to the National List when the requested use is limited to personal care products. Personal care products include cosmetics and body care products that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

    Organic personal care products that are comprised of agricultural ingredients and meet the USDA organic regulations remain eligible for certification. Personal care product manufacturers can use substances on the processed product sections of the National List (such as non-organic colors when organic colors aren't commercially available).

  3. Phosphoric acid in aquatic plants
  4. AMS requested that the NOSB review a petition from 2002 regarding the use of phosphoric acid for pH adjustment of aquatic plants. NOSB action is needed to resolve ongoing differences in interpretation on this issue among material evaluation programs and accredited certifying agents.

Enhancing Agricultural Coexistence

Agricultural coexistence refers to the concurrent cultivation of crops produced through diverse agricultural systems, including traditionally produced, organic, identity preserved, and genetically engineered crops.

As the complexity and diversity of U.S. agriculture increases, so does the importance of managing issues that affect agricultural coexistence, such as seed purity, gene flow, post-harvest mixing, identity testing, and market requirements.

How can USDA better foster communication and collaboration among those involved in all sectors of agriculture production?

On November 19, 2012, USDA's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology & 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) presented a report to Secretary Vilsack entitled, "Enhancing Coexistence: A Report of the AC21 to the Secretary of Agriculture."

USDA is looking for your help to identify how agricultural coexistence in the United States can be strengthened.

View USDA's Specific Request for Comments

Comment deadline: January 3, 2014

 

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