By Andrew Jerome
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its intent to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule. The rule was finalized in January 2017, but placed on hold when the new administration took office.
National Farmers Union (NFU) supports the OLPP rule’s intent, as it would improve the consistency and integrity of organic livestock practices and labeling. NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew issued the following statement in response to the announcement:
“This is a very disappointing decision by USDA, both for American family farmers and for consumers. Currently, we have too much inconsistency in how organic certifiers apply animal welfare standards to farming and ranching operations. This, in turn, endangers the organic label’s integrity and leads to consumer confusion. The OLPP rule would have helped mitigate these concerns by standardizing organic livestock and poultry practices for the voluntary National Organic Program.
“We urge USDA to find a solution that provides certainty to family organic producers and integrity to the organic label. Family farmers, ranchers, and consumers all benefit from thorough, accurate and consistent food labeling.”