Last Updated: 10-30-14, 3:38 p.m. ET
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Thursday, October 30, 2014
3:38 p.m. ET: Following lunch, the NOSB returns to its business and elects its officers for next year. Jean Richardson (consumer rep) is elected chair, Tracy Favre (conservation rep) is elected vice-chair, and Harold Austin (handler, Zirkle Fruit) is elected secretary.
The NOSB turns its attention to work items for 2015. More than 100 synthetic and non-organic materials are coming up for sunset review – a daunting task to ensure a full and proper assessment of each substances essentiality and the human health/environment impacts.
Miles McEvoy estimates that $3 million would be required for technical reviews of each substance. To see a discussion of how lacking this has been at times in the past, see http://www.cornucopia.org/USDA/OrganicWatergateWhitePaper.pdf.
Before adjourning the semiannual meeting, the board honors its four members whose terms expire at the end of this year.
11:29 a.m. ET: The board votes 12-3 against the removal of tragacanth gum from the National List.
Then they move to take another brief break.
11:25 a.m. ET: NOSB brings back the tabled motion to consider relisting of tragacanth gum.
Joe Dixon (retailer, Whole Foods) indicates that the fact that a certifier has one client using this material is sufficient to him to indicate tragacanth gum is essential.
Jay Feldman (enviro, Beyond Pesticides) asks if the the new letter from the user of the material that was given to the board yesterday was untimely.
Cornucopia contacted the original petitioner for the allowed use of this material three times. They never responded, nor did they submit any information in support of keeping this material on the National List.
11:13 a.m. ET: The full board votes 9 to 6 against removing aqueous potassium silicate from the list.
Prior to the sunset changes imposed by the USDA in Sept. 2013, this material would have no longer been allowed for use in organics. This cuts to the core of the argument that the new process means the sun will never set on nearly every non-organic and synthetic material on or added to the National List. Read Full Article »