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March 16, 2017

Organic Production Rules Delayed by Trump Administration’s Executive Order

The Obama Administration's Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule was delayed by 60 days (until May 19) under an executive order signed by President Trump. The rules amended requirements for certifying livestock and poultry production by expanding existing standards for living conditions, animal well-being and production practices. The final rules also created new provisions for animal handling and transport for slaughter.

The rules were thought to have been pushed through at the final moments of the Obama administration and were not met with enthusiasm when they were finalized. Senator Debbie Stabenow has pledged to continue working with the USDA to address concerns with the rule. “I am disappointed that USDA’s rule on organic livestock practices did not address many of my concerns about animal health, consumer organic prices and access, or the impact on organic producers," Stabenow said. "While I support high standards for animal welfare in the organic industry, I believe USDA missed an opportunity to do this in a way that did not risk unintended consequences." 

Likewise, Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, pledged to work to change the rules. “I, and a bipartisan group of members of Congress, have expressed concerns multiple times over this detrimental rule," Roberts said. "We, and the farmers and ranchers we represent, were flat out ignored. This rule has serious potential to force organic farmers and ranchers out of business and is widely opposed by those very folks who are affected the most by this rule. Prices for consumers could rise, and animal health could be put at risk, which may decrease food safety. I will work with USDA under the new administration to see what can be done to ease this overregulation on our hard-working farmers and ranchers."

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