WASHINGTON – The USDA is once again delaying the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule for six months. The rule was originally set to take effect May 19 after an executive order by the Trump Administration froze the pending regulations for 60 days on March 20.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which directs the National Organic Program, is now extending the effective date to Nov. 14 and asking the public for comment on whether to let rule become effective, suspend it indefinitely, delay it or withdraw it.
The Organic Trade Association released a statement and background in response to the US Dept. of Agriculture's delay of the effective date of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule:
"The Organic Trade Association (OTA) along with over 350 organic livestock producers representing $1.95 billion in annual sales, the federal Advisory Committee on organic, and every major US accredited organic certifier have called on the Secretary of Agriculture (Sonny Perdue) to allow the organic livestock rule to go into effect,” the statement read. “The organic industry takes the Secretary at his word that USDA just needs a bit more time. But after more than a decade of work, now spanning three administrations, this delay will not reveal any new information.”
THE OTA called this a comprehensive regulation that reflects a consensus between producers, certifiers, and consumers that organic livestock, including poultry, should be provided with proper living conditions.
Some organizations including the National Pork Producers Council and National Association of Egg Farmers were pleased with the delay by the administration.