USDA releases organic livestock, poultry rule |

USDA releases organic livestock, poultry rule

The Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Marketing Service today released a proposed rule on organic livestock and poultry production.

The rule “will clarify the existing USDA organic regulations related to livestock and poultry production requirements, thereby ensuring consistency among organic producers and protecting the integrity of the USDA organic seal,” AMS said in an advisory.

In a call to reporters, an AMS official said that the agency had followed most of the recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board, but not all.

The intent of the rule is to support expansion of the organic industry while increasing organic integrity and meeting consumer expectations, the official said.

The rule will be open to comment for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, the official said.

Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association, said the group would review the rule and provide comments to USDA.

“Animal welfare has always been a high priority of organic producers,” Batcha said. “Ensuring that the high expectations consumers have for organic foods are met preserves the organic seal’s reputation as the gold standard for agricultural production practices. OTA is pleased that USDA is moving forward.”

–The Hagstrom Report

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