On November 16, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Asa Bradman, associate professor of Environmental Health Science at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Bradman and four other appointees will serve 5-year terms starting January 24, 2017.
The NOSB was established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and operates in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act to assist in developing standards for substances used in organic production and to advise the Secretary on aspects of the National Organic Program.
The new members of the 15-member advisory board will fill positions that are specifically designated to represent various sectors of the organic community. Bradman will serve as an environmental protection and resources conservation expert. He is one the first members with environmental health training.
"I am honored to serve on the Board and thank Secretary Vilsack and the National Organic Program for their confidence in me,” says Bradman. “One of my first jobs was picking citrus fruits for export and since then I have worked on many public health issues related to food production. Agriculture is a crucial industry in California and the organic sector is growing by double digits across the nation. I look forward to working with the National Organic Program."
Bradman is the associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health, where he directs an initiative to improve environmental quality in California child care facilities. He leads studies focusing on pesticides, flame retardants, metals, emerging pollutants, VOCs, indoor air quality, and other contaminants.
Made up of dedicated public volunteers appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, NOSB members include four organic farmers; two handlers; three experts in environmental protection and resource conservation; three representatives of public interest or consumer groups; an expert in toxicology, ecology, or biochemistry; an organic retailer; and an organic certifying agent representative.
As the agency responsible for overseeing the NOSB, the Agricultural Marketing Service ensures that membership accounts for the needs of the diverse groups served by the USDA. For further information about the NOSB, visit www.ams.usda.gov/nosb.
By Linda Anderberg