Pressure is Rising to Reinstate the Organic Animal Welfare Rule

Brian German Agri-Business, Regulation

Industry groups and lawmakers are calling for the reinstatement of the organic animal welfare rule.  The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule establishes new animal welfare standards for the production of organic milk, eggs, and meat. In 2017, the Trump administration initially blocked the rule before withdrawing it entirely. A letter from more than a dozen industry groups was sent to Susan Rice, Director of the U.S. Domestic Policy Council, calling for the reinstatement of the rule.

Organic Animal Welfare

“In order for organic to continue to thrive, the Biden/Harris administration must address several of the decisions made by the prior administration, which were not conducive to organic growth,” the letter states. “Most notably, the withdrawal of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule must be reversed. The OLPP rule, which was issued in the final days of the Obama/Biden administration, was the result of over a decade of collaborative work between industry, consumers, and stakeholders.”

The coalition points to the growing demand for organic as one of the reasons to reinstate the rule and inspire consumer confidence in the integrity of the organic label.  Signatories of the letter include the Organic Trade Association, National Farmers Union, and the American Sustainable Business Council. A group of four lawmakers also sent a similar letter to the White House encouraging action on the organic animal welfare rule.

“We urge the administration to take this opportunity to collaborate with the organic industry by reinstating the final rule and restoring organic policymaking authority to its proper role,” the lawmakers said in their letter. “Reinstatement would not only restore a federal rule that was ten years in the making and a crowning product of the Obama/Biden administration, but would reset the organic policymaking authority of the Secretary of Agriculture, which was eviscerated during the previous administration.” 

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West