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AnnouncementMay 19, 2014


The Agricultural Marketing Service is pleased to welcome  

Dr. Jean Richardson as Chair of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), and to introduce a new fact sheet on the Sunset Review and Renewal Process.


Welcome New NOSB Chair--  

Dr. Jean Richardson  


In May 2014, the NOSB elected Dr. Jean Richardson as its new Chair. Jean was appointed to the NOSB in January 2012 in one of the three "Consumer/ Public Interest" positions.  


Jean is Professor Emerita, University of Vermont, where she taught Environmental Studies and Environmental Law.  She currently works with her family to produce certified organic maple syrup and is an independent inspector of organic farms and processors, as well as providing consultation on rural land use planning and serving as a Justice of the Peace. 


Jean brings a diverse range of experience and environmental knowledge to the NOSB leadership role. She has guided numerous research and policy projects and has made lasting impacts on sustainability and rural development issues in the United States and abroad. Lessons learned can be found in her book, "Partnerships in Communities, reweaving the fabric of rural America," Island Press, 2000.   


Jean holds a B.S. from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biogeography from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She lives in an old house on a trout stream surrounded by sugar maple trees, a small orchard, berries, vegetable gardens, perennial beds, and thousands of daffodils in spring. 


On her new role as NOSB Chair, Jean shares, "I feel privileged to have been elected by such a diverse group of incredibly hard working professional people. We all believe passionately in the integrity of the organic label, and yet we have different ideas on how to adapt to the changing face of organic agriculture, processing and handling as the industry expands and the NOP faces changing demands on its resources. My leadership style is to build consensus whenever possible and work collaboratively with all stakeholder groups and with the NOP in order to ensure sustainable organic systems." 


New Fact Sheet: 
Sunset Review and Renewal Process  


Last September, USDA published a Federal Register notice that revised the sunset process. The revision, which is consistent with the requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, was made to protect organic farmers, handlers, and consumers by ensuring an effective and timely process. The revised process increased public engagement by having two meetings instead of one to review substances up for sunset review. Additional public comment opportunities allow more farmers, processors, consumers and organic groups to provide their input on proposed changes to the list of materials used in organic production. This new fact sheet explains the changes.


Sunset Review and Removal Process Fact Sheet

About the Agricultural Marketing Service

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Through its National Organic Program, AMS facilitates trade and ensures the integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world. Learn more.

About the USDA Organic Insider

The USDA Organic Insider informs the organic community on a wide range of functions, including regulatory updates, requests for public comments, and USDA programs and services.

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