USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has received a number of questions about the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in October, which was cancelled due to the lapse in funding.
After reviewing a number of factors, such as facility scheduling and participant availability, we are confirming that we will not reschedule the Board's fall meeting. Instead, the Board will meet as scheduled for its next public meeting in San Antonio, Texas the week of April 28, 2014.
The starting point for the spring 2014 agenda will be the fall 2013 agenda; additional items may be added based on Board work over the coming 4-5 months.
This fall, the Board subcommittees will be reviewing the written comments submitted by the public during the fall 2013 comment period, and may decide to modify posted discussion documents and proposals based on those comments. The subcommittees will also be working on new work plan items.
Here's how the Board will handle public comments:
- If a subcommittee decides to modify a previously posted discussion document or proposal as a result of fall 2013 public comment, that revision will be posted for another round of public comments before the spring 2014 meeting.
- If a subcommittee decides not to modify a previously posted document, it will also be reposted with the others in advance of the spring 2014 meeting. While any new comments to these unchanged documents will be welcome, commenters who previously submitted comments to the unchanged document will not need to resubmit their previous comments.
- Any new discussion documents and proposals that are added to the spring 2014 agenda will be posted for public comment as usual.
- Anyone who signed up to give an oral public comment for the fall 2013 meeting will need to sign up again to make an oral public comment in the spring. An NOP Organic Insider notice will provide details closer to the meeting.
In addition to preparing for the spring 2014 meeting, the Board may convene in Washington D.C. for a training session before the next public meeting. Training topics for this meeting might include:
- Annual ethics and conflict of interest training.
- Training on how to develop effective proposals and recommendations.
- Training on the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
- Training on the rulemaking process.
Consistent with FACA requirements, if this training is held, the Board will not vote or provide advice to the Agricultural Marketing Service or the Secretary on any matter.