Thursday, January 11, 2018

Tell USDA: Don’t withdraw animal welfare standards

In the final days of the Obama Administration, a new rule strengthening the standards for animals raised on organic farms was officially finalized. This rule was the result of more than a decade of discussion and public input from the organic community, including farmers and consumers

Unfortunately, over the past year the Trump administration has engaged in an effort to unlawfully revoke the new and important animal welfare rule, by repeatedly delaying its implementation. Over the holiday period, the Trump Administration made plain what it had already started: that they would completely withdraw the new rule.

The new rule is essential for organic integrity and consumer trust in the organic label.

The rule [1] creates stronger, more specific language that ensures every organic farmer must provide the same level of welfare for their animals to be certified. This helps guarantee that all meat and poultry and eggs labeled organic comes from animals raised with sufficient space, appropriate diets, adequate access to the outdoors, and ability to express their natural behaviors.

These are aspects that consumers look for when they seek out certified organic products, and practices that the vast majority of organic producers already follow.

A few very large egg producers that have misrepresented the impact the new rule will have on the organic industry and the Trump administration is doing their bidding. In reality, the rule would only be a burden to these CAFO-scale producers, who raise over 100,000 birds using organic feed but do not want to bear the costs of providing sufficient space and meaningful access to the outdoors for the animals. [2]

Comments due by January 17, 2018

- Center for Food Safety


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