The U.S. Department of Agriculture is requesting nominations to fill five upcoming vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board. The positions to be filled are: organic producer (2 positions), retailer (1 position), organic handler (1 position), and an environmentalist (1 position). 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, 2010, and run until January 24, 2015.

Who do you think should sit on the National Organic Standards Board? Join the discussion in the OCA forum. Write a letter to Secretary Vilsack supporting OCA's endorsements or making your own. Read related articles in the Organic Consumers Association's Organic Resources Center.


Environmentalist (1 position available):

Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides

Feldman, who has the endorsement of the National Organic Coalition, is a cofounder of Beyond Pesticides  and has served as its director since 1981. He is also a member of the OCA Policy and Advisory Board. Feldman has worked to ensure the integrity of food products labeled organic, arguing that, "As greater numbers of people flock to food produced without synthetic chemicals, it becomes ever more essential to guard our organic standards against constant and corrosive reinterpretation." He has worked against producers who unwittingly undermine organic integrity while  looking for shortcuts to get into the marketplace, saying, "The question is whether those seeking to be part of the organic industry believe in the underlying core values and principals of organic stewardship versus seeing it simply an economic opportunity to reap financial rewards in the marketplace. During the drafting of OFPA, the people at the table shared these core values: organic stewardship, protection of the workers, healthy food, and a clean environment. … Those who helped grow the organic community over the past 25 years have to expect that the range of motives for those who want to get in will vary, and therefore be vigilant about protecting the idea and integrity of what 'organic' means."

Feldman dedicated himself to finding solutions to pesticide problems after working with farmworkers and small farmers through an EPA grant in 1978 to the national advocacy organization Rural America (1977-1981). Since that time, Feldman has helped to build Beyond Pesticides' capacity to assist local groups and impact national pesticide policy. He has tracked specific chemical effects, regulatory actions, and pesticide law. He is very familiar with local groups working on pesticides and has helped develop successful strategies for reform in local communities. His work with media has helped to bring broader public understanding of the hazards of pesticides. Feldman has a Masters in urban and regional planning with a focus on health policy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1977), and a B.A. from Grinnell College (1975) in political science.

Farmers (2 positions available):

Nick Maravell, Farmer, Nick's Organic Farm

Maravell, an organic farmer who has the endorsement of the National Organic Coalition, has been farming organically since 1979. Currently, he has 170 acres under cultivation in Montgomery and Frederick Counties, Maryland. He uses a diversified farming system to raise vegetables, forage, grain, seed, and livestock products. For the past two decades he has conducted on-farm research through grant programs and in cooperation with USDA's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the University of Maryland, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Nick has also been active for many years at the national and state level in the development of organic legislation and standards, organic research priorities, and organic marketing issues. he is a founding member of the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association and has served in many leadership positions in the association. He has also served as a steering committee member of the Scientific Congress on Organic Agricultural Research and actively participated in drafting its National Organic Research Agenda, published in 2007. He has also served as board member of Future Harvest-Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and a member of the Farming Practices Committee of the Organic Trade Association.

During the 1970's and 80's in Washington, DC, Maravell served in a variety of managerial and staff positions in the areas of policy development, research, and financial and program management. Nick served with the following organizations: National Institute of Education, US Senate Labor and Education Committee, Office of Education, National School Boards Association, Office of Management and Budget, Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, US Treasury, National Academy of Sciences Bpard on Agriculture.

Nick received his B.A. from Columbia College in Sociology and Urban Studies and his M.Ed. from Columbia Teachers College in Administration of Educational Systems.

On May 14, 2009, Maravell spoke before the US House Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture about how organic farming practices, organic certification, and direct marketing gives organic agriculture unique and effective built in food safety policy, including:

1) Organic farmers and processors are required by law to maintain five year records that allow "one up, one down" traceability for all inputs ad for all sales. From field to folk, every entity in the supply chain or in the stream of commerce must maintain an audit trail that permits full traceability and accountability.

2) Raw livestock manure cannot be used on crops for human consumption without an extended waiting period before harvest.

3) Compost made with animal manure must meet temperature, mixing and time requirements to ensure its safety or else be treated as raw manure.

State Representative Nancy Smith, farmer/forester, Snafu Acres Dairy Farm

Rep. Nancy Smith, endorsed by the National Organic Coalition, lives in Monmouth, Maine, where she is a farmer and a licensed professional forester. Her family farm, Snafu Acres Dairy Farm, is a grass-based, diversified dairy farm and sells natural meats and poultry from the farm through farmers markets, at retail stores and to restaurants. Smith also works at Two Trees Forestry in Winthrop.

She focuses her efforts on issues related to strengthening Maine’s small businesses, including our natural resource enterprises in fishing, fosestry and farming. Smith is the House chair of the Business, Research & Economic Development Committee.

Smith stood up to giant chemical maker Monsanto when it attempted to convince the state of Maine to abandon its Quality Trademark Seal program for milk. The state adopted the seal in 1994 to indicate that milk does not contain artificial growth hormones ("Maine to Monsanto: Milk Keeps Quality Seal"). She fought GMOs, arguing that the contamination of organic products by genetically modified organisms would cause organic growers economic harm ("Farmers Clash Over Modified Crops").

Retailer (1 position available):

Barth Anderson, the Wedge Community Co-op

Anderson, the Research & Development Coordinator and "Fair Trade Czar" of the first certified organic grocery in Minneapolis, MN, is endorsed by the National Organic Coalition. The Wedge's 13,000 members belong to the largest single-site co-operative in the United States. Anderson writes about the politics and economics of food and has traveled to see coffee production first hand in rural Nicaragua. He also serves on the Organic Task Force for Minnesota's Department of Agriculture and writes a food column for the Wedge Co-op Newsletter, which was nominated by the Utne Reader for Best of the Indie Press.

Anderson is responsible for making the Wedge the first certified organic store in Minnesota. On organic standards, he says, "The organic system needs to have a system of checks and balances to see what the certifiers are doing, because the certifiers have a tremendous amount of power."

Anderson argues that the sustainability of our food system is built upon four relationships.

1. Farmers and consumers understand and appreciate that they are economically interdependent. Therefore, the prices that the Wedge pays to Minnesota and Wisconsin farmers are negotiated on the same fair trade principles and fair labor standards that it applies to chocolate, coffee, bananas, and tea growers in developing countries.

2. There is a relationship between food systems and the health of consumers, farmers, and farm workers. This means sustaining their health through such practices as organic agriculture and free-range chickens and grass-fed cattle ("Barth Anderson: Shopping for Healthy, Minnesota Food").

3. Purchasing as many products as possible from local growers and in cooperation with other consumers enhances the relationship between food and the quality of life. Knowing who produces your food and the care they take to do it well, and, on the other hand, who eats your food and how much they enjoy it, promotes greater appreciation for high quality food and vitalizes rural communities.

4. Lastly, there is the long-term relationship between people and nature. Nurturing this relationship means using environmentally sustainable farming practices, like integrated pest management, for which efficiency of scale favor smaller, locally-owned, family farms.

Trudy Bialic, PCC Natural Markets

Bialic, who has the endorsement of the National Organic Coalition, has been the Director of Public Affairs for PCC Natural Markets in Seattle, WA, since 2000. Bialic develops positions on legislation and public policies for the largest consumer owned and operated grocery in the U.S. with nine certified organic stores. She has spoken out against those who have skirted the standards for organic food. In 2006, PCC pulled Horizon dairy products off the shelves when it was revealed that the cows were not given enough pasture access at its largest farms, and Horizon was selling its calves and bringing in and converting 1-year-old heifers. Bialic advocates the organic retailer’s interests to lawmakers and agencies. She directs and oversees the “Issues and Education” section of PCC’s Web site on topics relevant to organics, genetically modified foods, healthier meat and dairy, irradiation, sustainable seafood, food and climate change, the true cost of food, factory farming and more ( She serves as media spokesperson and liaison on food policy and legislation, agricultural issues, and consumer food concerns.

Bialic is the editor of Sound Consumer. She directs editorial content for a monthly newspaper (circulation 48,000) dedicated to informing the public about food, agriculture and consumer concerns. Archives available at

She advocates for organic retail interests through public education and outreach:

2003–2011 Washington State Dept. of Agriculture Pesticide Advisory Board, Environmental Representative, appointed by Governor Gary Lock, 2003. Re-appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire in 2007 to a second, four-year term. The board advises the Director of Agriculture on any or all problems relating to the use and application of pesticides.

2003– 2009 Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network, Policy Committee member, Retail representative, Recommends policy positions for statewide organization advocating for sustainable agriculture and family farms. Successfully advocated for the nation’s first Organic Major at Washington State University (WSU). She met semi-annually with WSU Deans of Agriculture, Research, and Extension Services to advocate development and funding for the organic major.

Processor (1 position available):

Lynn Betz, Sensibility Soaps

Betz, is the founder and president of Sensibility Soaps, the first personal care manufacturer to be certified under the USDA's National Organic Program. A pioneer and leader in the industry, Betz has been formulating and manufacturing USDA Organic personal care products as a certified organic processor since 2003. Betz supported the 2005 legal action launched by OCA and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which successfully restored access to the National Organic Program for personal care products that met the standards outlined in the Organic Food Production Act. "Our company does not support separate organic standards for personal care products when obviously organic personal care products can be made using the current standards," she said.

Betz's position carried the day and Sensibility Soaps was able to expand its product line. According to a 2007 press release, "Lynn Betz, Co-Founder and President, Sensibility Soaps, Inc., says that 'while the food standards of the USDA's National Organic Program are challenging to meet when it comes to personal care formulations, we have developed products now which meet or exceed the performance of conventional personal care products essentially using organic foods.'"

According to a 2007 article in Natural Foods Merchandiser, "The Beaver Falls, Pa.-based manufacturer launched its Nourish line in 2003, with 21 SKUs that all displayed the USDA seal.

"Being first wasn't necessarily the company's goal, but it was an important achievement, says Lynn Betz, co-founder and president of Sensibility Soaps. 'It was something that we wanted to do and we worked hard to accomplish. Believe me: It's very, very challenging, and that's why very few companies have the seal on products, because only the food standards exist.'

"Betz says it took about two years to formulate a USDA certifiable product line, requiring the devotion of two chemists. Today, Sensibility Soaps has upwards of 60 organic products.

"The most obvious obstacle to certification is that personal care companies have to work within the bounds of the NOP standards, which were written specifically for food. Traditional emulsifiers and preservatives are not acceptable because manufacturers are restricted to using food ingredients. 'That really makes it a challenge, because of needing to assure that the product is stable and able to be used without having any issue of contamination,' Betz explains. 'You're almost dealing with food science versus cosmetic science.'

"And the rules don't always stay the same. Changes to the NOP National List for nonorganic agricultural ingredients forced Sensibility Soaps to find new ways to keep some products certified, according to Betz. For example, NOP's section 606 used to allow manufacturers to source wild-crafted herbs that were not available organically, such as oak moss, as long as the product was at least 95 percent organic and used other approved ingredients for the 5 percent of wiggle room. Now rule 606 more stringently defines 38 nonorganic ingredients that are allowable. 'We had to reformulate a number of our products to stay in compliance now with rule 606,' Betz says."

Diana Kaye, Terressentials

Diana Kaye is a co-founder of Terressentials, a USDA certified organic processor of a wide range of artisan-crafted personal care products, all of which conform to the USDA National Organic Program regulations.  

Diana has a unique and varied organic background, and is well-known for being a passionate advocate for upholding the National Organic Program standards for personal care products, fiber products and foods.  She has been an avid environmentalist, an herbalist and an organic grower of herbs, fruits and native plants since 1992.  She is also the co-owner and manager of a small organic research farm in Maryland, the headquarters of the Terressentials organic crafting facility and first retail store.  Diana has studied the historical and modern uses, and phytochemical and physiological aspects, of medicinal plants since 1991, and has a particular interest in their personal care applications and anti-cancer properties.  She has nearly twenty years of organic product formulation experience, formulating NOP-compliant organic personal care products in 1993, well in advance of formal national standards.

Since Terressentials was started in 1992, Diana has been instrumental in growing the organic personal care movement, and is known for her tireless consumer educational efforts in researching chemical ingredients used in personal care products and their effects on humans and wildlife.  Despite the impediment of a hostile competitive environment, Diana has worked to grow Terressentials into a successful, globally-respected presence in the marketplace, with an expanding chain of organic retail stores having a strict policy banning organically-labeled products not certified to the USDA NOP.  

Diana is a long-time member of the Organic Trade Association, and was a member of the OTA’s Personal Care Task Force (2001 to the present).  She is also a member of the NSF Joint Committee for Organic Personal Care Standards (2004 to present).   Diana played an important role in the NOP’s decision to allow personal care products to be certified, after she appeared before the NOSB in 2005 eating a Terressentials product,  and requested that the NOP allow personal care product companies to be certified to the USDA’s organic standard.

She was co-author of a 2006 article for Mothering Magazine on the topic of the “organic” personal care labeling controversy.  Diana promoted the organic philosophy to an international audience as a guest on the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs Show’s environmental special “Brown Before Green,” and publicly humiliated herself to advance the organic personal care standards cause in her organic rap video.

*OCA is only endorsing people who have already applied to the USDA for a seat on the NOSB. This is not a final list and we will continue to make endorsements, as additional applicants come forward. We will endorse multiple candidates for a single position if there is more than one exemplary candidate.


The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 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 a National Organic Standards Board. The NOSB is a 15-member board that is responsible for developing and recommending to the Secretary a proposed National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The NOSB also advises the Secretary on all other aspects of the National Organic Program.

The 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 vairious matters, including 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.

The current board is comprised of four farmers/growers, two handlers/processors, one retailer, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, four environmentalists, and one USDA accredited certifying agent who sit#on various committees. Members come from all four U.S. regions.

NOSB left to right, back row: Kristine Ellor, Bea James, Barry Flamm, Kevin Engelbert, Steve DeMuri, Gerald Davis, Joe Smillie, Hubert Karreman. Middle row: Jennifer Hall, Julie Weisman, Valerie Francis (Executive Director), Tracy Miedema. Front row: Dan Giacomini, Katrina Heinze, Kathleen Merrigan (Deputy Secretary), Jeff Moyer. Missing board member: Rigo Delgado

The 3 consumer/public interest slots are currently filled by:

Daniel G. Giacomini, Middletown, CA (2006-2011) — Daniel Giacomini, the NOSB Vice Chairperson, is an independent dairy nutrition consultant specializing in organic dairies. He develops feeding programs for organic dairies and is a consultant to producers of feeds and feed ingredients. He also helps dairies that are transitioning to organic farming win their organic certification.

Giacomini was raised on a family dairy farm and earned a masters degree in dairy science from the University of Illinois. He has presented several guidance statements to the NOSB, most recently on issues of access to pasture.

The Organic Consumers Association opposed Giacomini's appointment as a consumer representative.

Jennifer M. Hall, Seattle, WA (2006-2011) — Jennifer Hall is dedicated to promoting organic, sustainable, local food use in commercial cuisine. She is co-owner of SEED (Sustainable, Ecological, Entrepreneurial Dining), a Seattle consultation firm that helps restaurants maintain organic integrity, and is Executive Director of Chef’s Collaborative, a national nonprofit organization of over 1,000 professional cooks dedicated to the use of locally-grown food in restaurants. The busy Hall is also Program Coordinator of Small Farm Direct Marketing, works with Spokane Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Team, and is on the Washington State Small Farm & Direct Marketing Advisory Board and the State Organic Advisory Board.

Hall is GORP (Good Organic Retailing Practices) certified in Texas and is a trained Organic Processing Inspector in Oregon. Most recently, Hall has been working as the community food builder for Main Market, a new consumer coop in Spokane.

Hall was appointed to the NOSB consumer position after Katrina Heinze, an executive with General Mills, resigned.

Tracy Miedema, Philomath, OR (2007-2012) — Tracy Miedema is currently the National Sales & Marketing Manager for Stahlbush Island Farms, a thriving 4500 acre farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that produces both Oregon Tilth Certified Organic and Food Alliance Certified Sustainable foods. Miedema interacts daily with the organic food supply chain from farm to consumers. She has served as adjunct faculty at Western Washington University, creating and teaching a Green Marketing unit and also teaching Consumer Behavior. Her graduate research focused on knowledge management in the organic foods industry. While at Small Planet Foods, Miedema created an organic learning center for employees, retailers, and consumers. She also serves on the Leadership Council of the Oregon Organic Coalition and is an Oregon Strawberry Commissioner.

The Organic Consumers Association opposed Miedema's appointment as a consumer representative.

The 3 environmentalist slots are currently filled by:

Kristine Ellor, Kennett Square, PA (2007-2012) — Tina Ellor, as a mycologist, is the Technical Director of Phillips Mushroom Farms. Ellor has been active for many years in agriculture and has been working towards an ideal of better food, produced more responsibly for a better environment. She cares deeply about organic food and the integrity of the organic label. Ellor has served on the Board of Directors of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO). She has been active in small farm and rural development innovation projects. Ellor is active in mycological and mushroom societies and associations nationally and internationally as well.

The Organic Consumers Association would have supported Ellor's appointment to the NOSB as a farmer/grower, as she has always been a strong advocate for organic and opposed changes to the Organic Food Production Act that weakened organic standards. Nevertheless, OCA voiced concerns over Ellor's appointment to the NOSB as an "environmentalist."

Barry Flamm, Polson, Montana (2008-2013) — Dr. Barry Flamm brings a broad spectrum of scientific, environmental, food producing, and food quality control expertise from the organic producing and consuming sectors. He has a doctorate in ecology, serves as an environmental and natural resources consultant and owned and operated a certified organic fruit orchard in Montana. He recently served as an adjunct professor in environmental studies at the University of Missoula.

Hubert J. Karreman, Quarryville, PA (2005-2010) — Hubert Karreman owns and operates a veterinary practice specializing in dairy. He works with farmers who are “ecologically motivated,” and is responsible for all emergency, routine and preventative medicine, surgery, reproduction and obstetrics on more than 100 family dairy farms. He received his veterinary medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of several professional societies, including the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Karreman currently lives in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.

Karreman's expertise as a veterinarian is invaluable to the NOSB, but some might question whether veterinarians would be better suited to represent scientists rather than environmentalists on the board. Karreman has spoken in favor of meaningful access to pasture for dairy cows, but he has also sided with industry on organic aquaculture standards opposed by environmentalists because they allow the use of open net cages which flush pollution, disease and parasites from fish farms directly into the ocean, adversely impacting wild fish supply, sustainability and the health of the oceans.

The 4 farmer/grower slots are currently filled by:

Gerald A. Davis, Arvin, CA (2005-2010) — Gerald Davis has worked as an agronomist and pest control advisor for Grimmway Farms in Bakersfield, California, since 2001, where he supervises and directs the growing and harvesting of potatoes, as well as in-house seed potato operations. He is also technical advisor for on-farm compost production. Prior to his work with Grimmway, and its predecessor Cal-Organic Farms, Davis was owner and operator of the Connoly Orchard in Tehachapi, California. He holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Oregon State University and currently resides in Arvin, California.

In 2006, the Organic Consumers Association applauded Davis when he joined other past and present NOSB members in a letter to the National Organic Program asking for clear rules regarding the origin of organic livestock.

Rigoberto I. Delgado, Houston, TX (2005-2010) — Rigoberto Delgado is the owner and manager of the 60-acre Delgado Farms in Esperanza, Texas, where he has been farming since 1988. He also works as an independent management consultant. He describes himself as a supporter of sustainable agriculture, and has devoted considerable time and resources to adapting organic agricultural practices to the harsh conditions of the desert southwest. Delgado Farms is one of the first Hispanic-owned farms in Texas to be certified organic. Delgado holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Mexico. He currently resides in Houston, Texas.

Kevin Englebert, Nichols, NY (2006-2011) — Since 1979, Kevin Engelbert has managed his family's dairy farm, the first in New York State to be certified organic. He and his three sons milk 120 cows, along with raising beef cattle, hogs, and over 800 acres of field crops and pasture, all organically. Kevin's wife, Lisa, does the farm bookwork and manages their retail meat business. His sons will be the sixth generation to run the farm, which has been in Kevin's family for over 150 years.

Long active in the organic movement, Engelbert works with Cornell University on organic research projects, is a frequent public speaker at organic farming conferences and meetings, a mentor to many farmers making the transition to organic agriculture, and serves on several organic boards, including the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, where he served on the Standards Board for many years. Kevin regularly hosts organic farming seminars and student tours on his farm. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Hamilton College.

Englebert has been a strong advocate for fair prices during the 2008-2009 organic dairy crisis.

Jeffrey W. Moyer, NOSB Chairperson, Lenharstville, PA (2006-2011) — Jeffrey Moyer is the manager of the Rodale Institute Experimental Farm, a 333-acre working organic farm in Pennsylvania that raises 270 acres of field crops, an apple orchard, vegetables, and 25 acres of experimental research plots. He has been with Rodale for 29 years, 23 of which have been as Manager of the Experimental Farm. The Institute is dedicated to furthering organic and sustainable agriculture throughout the world.

Moyer is a sought-after public speaker, radio and television personality, and crusader for organic agriculture. He has studied and worked with traditional farmers in Japan, Central America, Mexico, and South America.

Articles about Moyer on the OCA Web site include, "Rapid Growth and Strict Organic Standards: A Difficult Balancing Act," "New Way to Farm Boosts Climate, Too, " and "New York Times on the Coming Boom in US Organic Agriculture."

The 2 handler/processor slots are currently filled by:

Steve DeMuri, Carmichael, CA (2007-2012) — Steve DeMuri, as the Senior Manager for Commercialization and Improvement for Campbell Soup Company in California, is the technical expert and primary operator of their organic production. DeMuri handles all internal and co-packer plant certifications, and advises on corporate marketing, regulatory, operations, research and development, agriculture, and other groups on all technical matters pertaining to organic manufacturing, marketing and certification. He has been involved in the organic industry since the early 1990, and is currently a member of several associated committees. He has spoken at numerous trade conventions and meetings over the last several years, and has built a reputation as an industry leader. DeMuri brings a wealth of conventional and organic food manufacturing knowledge, experience and expertise.

The Organic Consumers Association opposed DeMuri's nomination citing Campbell Soup Company's primary interest in industrial, as opposed to organic, food production.

DeMuri is quoted in articles on the OCA Web site, including "Greening of Consumer Consciousness Causes Surge in Organic & Green Product Sales," and "Who Is Taking Over Whom in the Organic Industry?"

Julie S. Weisman, Tenafly, NJ (2005-2010) — Julie Weisman is the Vice President of Organic Product Development for Elan, Inc. She is also the founder and president of Flavorganics, LLC. She has a master’s of social work degree from Smith College and a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College. Weisman is a member of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturer’s Association and the Organic Trade Association’s Manufacturing, Packaging, Processing, and Labeling Committee. She currently resides in Tenafly, New Jersey.

The retailer slot is currently filled by:

Bea E. James – Golden Valley, MN (2005-2010) — Bea James is currently the National Category Leadership Manager of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) where she oversees category excellence for over 130 natural food co-ops across the US. Prior to joining the NCGA she oversaw the organic certification of several retail chains for their produce departments which included customized organic certification training programs for over 5,000 employees. James has worked in mass market for 8 years helping to develop organic and natural foods programs, and has also worked for over 15 years with co-ops including Lakewinds Natural Foods Co-op and Wedge Co-op. She also owned her own natural foods bakery and worked as a pastry chef. James is a member of the MN Department of Agriculture Organic Advisory Task Force, and was selected Chair of the Food Marketing Institute’s Natural Advisory Committee and served on that committee for over 6 years. She is a graduate of Southern Oregon State University and is working on a bachelor’s degree in holistic nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health. James resides in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

James is quoted in articles on the OCA Web site, including "Full Bloom: As Prices for Organic Decline and Consumer Interest in Eating Healthy Booms, the Natural Products Category Blossoms" and "Parents' Demand for Milk Free of Monsanto's Genetically Engineered Bovine Growth Hormone Changing Dynamics of Marketplace." She also joined a 2007 letter (that the Organic Consumers Association also signed onto) to the USDA opposing mandatory raw almond pasteurization.

The scientist slot is currently filled by:

Katrina Heinze, Plymouth, MN (2007-2012) — Katrina Heinze is the manager of General Mills’ Global Regulatory Affairs department. She joined General Mills in 1995 where she has worked in both Operations and Quality and Regulatory Operations. The majority of her experience has been in food manufacturing plants with responsibility for food safety, regulatory compliance and product quality. She has regulatory experience producing FDA products such as cereal and baking products, USDA products such as ready-to-eat meals and Pasteurized Milk Ordinance-regulated yogurt. In her current capacity, Dr. Heinze is responsible for General Mills’ Food Safety and Regulatory Policies and Standards including training and compliance verification strategy and supervises the import and export compliance personnel. In addition, she provides regulatory counsel to business teams including Small Planet Foods, General Mills’ organic foods division. Small Planet Foods is a leader in the organic industry, marketing more than 150 organic products under the Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen brands.

The Organic Consumers Association opposed Katrina Heinze's appointment to the NOSB, both in 2005 when she was nominated to represent consumers and resigned after OCA and the Consumers Union protested, and in 2006 when she was re-nominated as a scientist and accepted the post despite complaints that General Mills shouldn't be making organic policy, as its core business is not in organic, but in selling sugar-laden cereals to kids, and supporting GMOs. As Michael Pollan discovered when he interviewed General Mills' executives, "It quickly became clear that in the eyes of General Mills, organic is not a revolution so much as a market niche, like menopausal women or 'ethnics,' and that health is really a matter of consumer perception. You did not have to buy into the organic 'belief system' to sell it."