Take Action to Defend Organic Standards and Animal Welfare

In December, the USDA quietly announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP). OLPP is the product of a 14-year democratic rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA continuously impeded its implementation and now is shelving the standards.
 
Comment now to protect organic standards! Comments are due January 17, 2018.
 
The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities, and access to the outdoors. 
 
USDA’s actions set a dangerous precedent of administrative interference in the organic standards. It is time for the organic community to unite to fend off this unprecedented tampering with organic standards. 
 
According to the USDA, 99 percent of comments submitting regarding OLPP were in support of the standards and only 28 comments of 47,000 total comments supported withdrawing the rule. Despite the overwhelming support for the rule, USDA is withdrawing the rule because it claims that the rule goes “beyond the intent” of the organic standards. As a matter of fact, the Organic Foods Production Act that established the NOP specifically empowers the National Organic Standards Board to recommend additional standards for organic livestock.
 
CCOF supports the rule as written and will continue to urge USDA to implement the rule. For additional information, please contact CCOF’s Policy Department.
 

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