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Notice

Nominations for Members of the National Organic Standards Board

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, as amended, requires the establishment of a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The NOSB is a 15-member board that is responsible for developing and recommending to the Secretary a proposed National List of Approved and Prohibited Substances. The NOSB also advises the Secretary on all other aspects of the National Organic Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is requesting nominations to fill five (5) upcoming vacancies on the NOSB. The positions to be filled are: organic producer (2 positions), organic handler, retailer, and environmentalist. The Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a person to each position to serve a 5-year term of office that will commence on January 24, 2005, and run until January 24, 2010. USDA encourages eligible minorities, women, and persons with disabilities to apply for membership on the NOSB.

DATES:

Written nominations, with resumes, must be post-marked on or before June 14, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Nominations should be sent to Ms. Katherine E. Benham, Advisory Board Specialist, USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 4008-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Katherine E. Benham, (202) 205-7806; E-mail: katherine.benham@usda.gov; Fax: (202) 205-7808.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The OFPA of 1990, as amended (7 U.S.C. Section Start Printed Page 122996501 et seq.), requires the Secretary to establish an organic certification program for producers and handlers of agricultural products that have been produced using organic methods. In developing this program, the Secretary is required to establish an NOSB. The purpose of the NOSB is to assist in the development of a proposed National List of Approved and Prohibited Substances and to advise the Secretary on other aspects of the National Organic Program.

The current NOSB made recommendations to the Secretary regarding the establishment of the initial organic program. It is anticipated that the NOSB will continue to make recommendations on various matters, including recommendations on substances it believes should be allowed or prohibited for use in organic production and handling.

The NOSB is composed of 15 members; 4 organic producers, 2 organic handlers, a retailer, 3 environmentalists, 3 public/consumer representatives, a scientist, and a certifying agent. Nominations are being sought to fill the following five (5) upcoming NOSB vacancies: organic producer (2 positions), organic handler, retailer, and environmentalist. Individuals desiring to be appointed to the NOSB at this time must be either an owner or operator of an organic production operation, an owner or operator of an organic handling operation, an individual who owns or operates a retail establishment with significant trade in organic products, or an individual with expertise in areas of environmental protection and resource conservation. Selection criteria will include such factors as: demonstrated experience and interest in organic production, handling and retailing; diverse commodity and geographic representation; support of consumer and public interest organizations; demonstrated experience with environmental matters; and such other factors as may be appropriate for specific positions.

Nominees will be supplied with a biographical information form that must be completed and returned to USDA within 10 working days of its receipt. Completed biographical information forms are required for a nominee to receive consideration for appointment by the Secretary.

Equal opportunity practices will be followed in all appointments to the NOSB in accordance with USDA policies. To ensure that the members of the NOSB take into account the needs of the diverse groups that are served by the Department, membership on the NOSB will include, to the extent practicable, individuals who demonstrate the ability to represent minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.

The information collection requirements concerning the nomination process have been previously cleared by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control No. 0505-0001.

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Dated: March 10, 2004.

A.J. Yates,

Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-5894 Filed 3-15-04; 8:45 am]

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