Criteria for reviewing materials used in organic operations and for accrediting third-party entities to conduct reviews of those materials are among the items on the agenda for the upcoming spring meeting of the National Organics Standards Board.

The biannual meeting is scheduled for May 22-25 in Albuquerque, N.M. The full agenda is available on the Web at

The board is accepting electronically submitted public comments through May 3 on all agenda items, including the materials review issues as well as a report from its ad hoc committee on genetically modified organisms.

Public comments will also be heard at the meeting, but pre-registration is required.

To submit or read comments via the Internet, visit To register to voice comments at the meeting, visit

Other agenda items for the May meeting include: additions and deletions from the national list of allowed and prohibited substances; and discussion of a proposal regarding whether use of sanitizers during handling should negate eligibility for 100% organic status.

According to a notice in the Federal Register, the board “strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically, however, written comments may also be submitted before April 30.”

Comments sent by traditional mail should be addressed to: Ann Michelle Arsenault, special assistant, National Organic Standards Board, USDA–AMS–NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2648–S, Mail Stop 0268, Washington, D.C., 20250–0268.