USDA Kills Animal Welfare Rule Angering Organic Farmers and Advocates

USDA Kills Animal Welfare Rule Angering Organic Farmers and Advocates

Angering organic farmers and advocates, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it will officially withdraw a rule that would have added animal welfare regulations for meat, eggs, and dairy marketed as “organic.”

“The decision nullifies 14 years of policymaking in a process mandated by Congress, and marks an about-face for the agency.”
—Lynne Curry, Civil Eats

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) killed the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule after deciding that it “exceeds the department’s statutory authority, and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program,” according to a USDA statement.While Greg Ibach, undersecretary for the USDA’s marketing and regulatory program, claimed that “the existing robust organic livestock and poultry regulations are effective,” organic farmers, animal rights advocates, and consumers who have supported the enhanced regulations—which were published on January 19, 2017 and would have taken effect in May—expressed disappointment with the move.

“The decision nullifies 14 years of policymaking in a process mandated by Congress, and marks an about-face for the agency,” Lynne Curry wrote for Civil Eats. The rule would have “specified a set of standards for organic livestock and poultry designed to minimize stress, facilitate natural behaviors, and promote well-being,” she noted in an update to a piece she published in December.
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