USDA Organic Livestock and Poultry Rule, Ag Committee Leadership Request Comment Period Extension

Recall that back in April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed stricter federal rules governing organic livestock and poultry farmers.

Late last week, the Republican and Democrat leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack calling on the Department to grant a 90-day extension of the public comment period for this proposed rule.

The Ag Committee leaders indicated that, “Due to the complex nature of this rule, we request a 90 day extension of the comment period, from 60 days to 150 days. Additional time is necessary for stakeholders to evaluate the changes made in the proposed rule and provide comprehensive feedback on the potential impacts if the rule is implemented.

Our constituents have expressed significant concern regarding possible unintended consequences, including reduced access to organic products, substantially increased organic food costs for consumers, significant disruption to the organic feed and processed organic products industries, increased exposure to disease and mortality for organic poultry, increased risk of contamination or food-borne illness, and significant barriers for current organic producers to maintain organic certification.”

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