CCOF Members Urge USDA to Issue Origin of Livestock Final Rule

Last week CCOF members signed a letter to USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) leadership urging the agency to issue a final rule on the Origin of Livestock. The letter notes that the Origin of Livestock rule is needed to provide consistent and enforceable requirements that clarify the sourcing of organic dairy herds. 
 
The letter references a recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously-passed resolution regarding the 2015 Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The board’s resolution said:
 
“It has come to the attention of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that the continued state of varying interpretations and practices around the Origin of Livestock standards is creating market instability for organic producers. The 2015 USDA Origin of Livestock Proposed Rule was based on six recommendations from the NOSB between 1994 and 2006. The proposed rule responds to findings from the July 2013 USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit report on organic milk operations stating that certifying agents were interpreting the origin of livestock requirements differently. Rulemaking is necessary to ensure consistent interpretation and enforcement of the standards for origin of livestock and provide industry with additional clarity of application of the organic dairy standards. In early 2017 the Origin of Livestock Proposed Rule was removed from the government’s Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Support for this rule has been expressed through public comment by the majority of organic stakeholders. Strong federal oversight is essential for creating a fair and level playing field for all certified organic operations. 
 
Therefore, be it resolved by unanimous vote, the National Organic Standards Board—as USDA’s Federal Advisory Board on organic issues and representing organic farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers and consumers—urges the Secretary to directly issue a final rule for Origin of Livestock that incorporates public comments submitted in response to the Proposed Rule (Docket Number AMS-NOP-11-0009).”
 
For more information about the letter, contact CCOF’s policy team.

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