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News Release
  Release No. 0467.09
Contact:
Billy Cox (202)720-8998
Billy.Cox@ams.usda.gov

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  AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK NAMES MEMBERS TO NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD
 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of five new members to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), bringing new vision, further diversity, and additional experience to the organization.

The appointees will serve terms beginning Jan. 24, 2010, and ending Jan. 24, 2015. The appointees are:

Joe Dickson, an organic retailer from Austin, Texas, who is currently Certification Director of Whole Foods;

Jay Feldman, an environmentalist from Washington, D.C., currently Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, with nearly 30 years experience in environmental issues;

John Foster, an organic handler from McMinnville, Ore., who works for Earthbound Farms and also has a strong farming background and experience as an organic inspector;

Wendy Fulwider, an organic farmer from Viroqua, Wis., who has worked to develop animal standards for the organic industry; and

Annette Riherd, an organic fruit and vegetable farmer from Oologah, Okla., who is also an advocate for buy fresh/buy local and organic and direct marketing.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees the National Organic Program (NOP) and the NOSB. The NOSB includes four producers, two handlers, one retailer, three environmentalists, three consumers, one scientist and one certifying agent. The Board is authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for organic operations. The NOSB also may provide advice on other aspects of the organic program.

The NOP is responsible for regulating the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture, the organic industry. U.S. sales of organic foods have grown from $1 billion in 1990, when the Organic Foods Production Act established the NOP, to a projected $23.6 billion in 2009. Congress increased NOP funding to $2.6 million in FY08 and to $3.2 million in FY09.

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