National Organic Standards Board is the committee that works with USDA to decide on changes and how to implement the USDA organic  certification process. As I promised, when these events are happening and there is an opportunity for you to share your perspective I would share them with you, so here is a chance for you to give them your thoughts.


Vicki Morrone

Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist

Michigan State University

C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

303 Natural Resources Bldg.

East Lansing, MI 48824


517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (fax)

For information on organic agriculture production please visit:

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From: Liana Hoodes [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:38 PM
To: Vicki Morrone
Subject: NOSB pre-Meeting Sunday May 3, 2009 Washington, DC


NOC logo#1National Organic Coalition


Dear Vicki,


NOON to 6:30 pm, Washington, DC -- POST LUNCH (snacks will be provided)
please RSVP!
Sponsored by National Organic Coalition and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)  is meeting Monday May 4 through Wednesday May 6, 2009, so we will once again hold our pre-NOSB meeting on the day before --  Sunday, May 3.


(same hotel as NOSB meeting)
10 Thomas Circle,   Washington DC  20005  202-842-1300



I.    Farm Bill Implementation Update
II.   2010 Appropriations
III.  "Pasture" Rule and Origin of Livestock Rule??

Aquaculture bivalves
Retail Certification and ICS
Personal Care products
Biodiversity Issues
Organic Seeds Requirement
Definitions of Ag/NonAg;  Synthetic/Non-Synthetic
NOSB 2010 nominations

V.   SCS label update
VI.  NOAP Update
VII.  Food Safety

Take Action Today to Support Organic Biodiversity Conservation --
See Alert below

**  In order to make sure there are enough chairs,

Please RSVP to:  Liana Hoodes ([log in to unmask]) **

For Hotel Rooms:

The Washington Plaza Hotel

10 Thomas Circle, NW

Washington, DC 20005



From the Wild Farm Alliance:


Take Action Today to Support Organic Biodiversity Conservation

Send comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) before Monday April 20, 2009 to let them know that you support biodiversity conservation within organic agriculture.

Use text from the sample letter or submit your own comments via this website:
Once there, look for the "Notice of Meeting of the NOSB" under the dark blue bar and click the image beneath "Add Comments." 

For further information, read the discussion on recommendations for strengthening biodiversity conservation within organics written by joint committees of the National Organic Standards Board:

Sample Letter

----Your Letterhead----

Jeff Moyer
Chairman of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
Re: Implementation of Biodiversity Conservation in Organic Agriculture Systems
Dear Chairman Moyer,
<Your Organization> is writing to encourage the NOSB to adopt recommendations that will address biodiversity conservation within the National Organic Program (NOP) rule. Maintaining healthy, biologically diverse farms is essential for the long-term sustainability of our food system and ecosystem.
<Your Organization's Mission and how strengthening biodiversity conservation in the rule relates to your work.>

In 2004 and 2005, the NOSB issued guidance statements regarding biodiversity conservation. The current recommendations of its Joint Crops and Compliance, Accreditation, and Certification Committee are reasonable steps that build on these earlier assertions and include:
1)   Biodiversity be considered when reviewing materials for use on organic farms,
2)   Biodiversity conservation be more fully developed and implemented in the Organic System Plan (OSP) by:
a) Producers outlining their strategy for biodiversity conservation in their OSP,
b) Inspectors being trained in biodiversity conservation,
c) Certifiers verifying producer's efforts to address the NOP's requirements for biodiversity, and
d) NOP emphasizing biodiversity conservation in its trainings and revising its checklist used to audit certifiers so that questions about the NOP's biodiversity standards are in every audit.

Incorporating biodiversity into the Materials Review process will ensure that no harm comes to organisms benefiting the farm, such as native pollinators. Implementing the requirement for organic farmers to include biodiversity conservation in their OSPs, will help them to prioritize their plans and will ensure improvement of their practices over time. Educating organic inspectors about conservation will result in consistent interpretation, and requiring certifiers to verify that their producers are conserving biodiversity will mean that farmers across the country will all be treated equally. As well, once the NOP begins checking that all organic certifiers are inspecting for biodiversity conservation, the rule will be uniformly implemented.  
The organic community will benefit from improved conservation efforts. Farmers who conserve habitat will see an increase in native predatory and parasitic insects, predatory birds, and pollinators. The dependence on artificial pest control means will be reduced, as will the need for purchasing honeybee services. Native vegetation which protects soil from erosion and acts as filters for pathogen and nutrient pollutants, will help to meet community needs of food safety and clean water requirements. By maintaining and restoring wildlife corridors through the farm, rodent-eating predators will help to keep pests in check, native species populations will stay viable, and wild nature will benefit. Consumers will profit from conservation because they care about nature and do not want to have their children grow up in a world devoid of biodiversity. Additionally, implementing the recommendations will help maintain the integrity of the organic label and honor consumer confidence in its meaning.
We believe it is crucial for the organic farmers, inspectors, certifiers, the NOSB and the NOP to each do their part to ensure that biodiversity conservation is fully developed and implemented. By comprehensively handling the issue, the organic community throughout the country will be become more efficient at addressing the intent of the rule and better equipped to benefit from all that nature provides.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.
<Your Name>
<Your Organization>


Liana Hoodes
        National Organic Action Plan
        National Organic Coalition
3540 Route 52
Pine Bush, NY  12566
Phone and Fax:  845-744-2304
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