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Comments invited

on organics rules

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Public comment is invited on recommendations to the National Organic Standards Board, which will meet April 26-29 in Seattle.



The board will vote on and finalize these recommendations, then submit them to the National Organic Program for potential inclusion in federal organic regulations.



Among those recommendations:



* The board's crops committee will discuss two petitioned materials, nickel and tetracycline, and the classification of corn steep liquor as a synthetic or non-synthetic input. The committee will also present recommendations on the 22 remaining material listings on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances otherwise scheduled to expire in 2012.



* The livestock committee will present two recommendations on animal welfare: stocking rates, and animal handling, transit and slaughter.



* The handling committee will discuss four petitioned materials: attapulgite, calcium acid pyrophosphate, silicon dioxide and sodium acid pyrophosphate.



Speaking the first day of the meeting will be Miles McEvoy, USDA deputy administrator overseeing the National Organic Program, and Dan Newhouse, director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture.



A full listing of topics on the meeting agenda, NOSB committees' draft recommendations and instructions for providing comments are available at www.ams.usda.gov/nosb.



-- Steve Brown



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