Bipartisan letter seeks Origin of Livestock rule finalization

-The Hagstrom Report

Reps. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week to to finalize the National Organic Program’s Origin of Livestock Rule.

“Family-run organic dairies are an important economic engine in rural communities across the country,” the letter said.

“However, we have heard from many of these family farms that they are being unfairly harmed by the loopholes that exist in the current rules for organic dairies.”

“As you know, USDA issued a proposed rule to close the loopholes around the transitioning of conventual dairy cows into organic productions in 2015, but the rule was never finalized. Failure to close this loophole has allowed some producers to continuously cycle cows in and out of organic management, putting smaller producers in states like ours at a significant financial disadvantage and placing the integrity of the organic label at risk.

“These loopholes have contributed to an oversupply of milk in the market, have depressed organic dairy prices, and have diminished consumer confidence in the organic label as a whole.”


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