Calls “Animal Welfare” Rulemaking a Betrayal to Farmers and Consumers
After years of delay, the United States Department of Agriculture recently released their long-anticipated draft rule to address lapses in organic animal welfare standards. The nation’s most prominent organic industry watchdog, The Cornucopia Institute, blasts the proposal as being designed to further divide the industry, calling it, “a cynical excuse for the USDA to delay addressing widespread violations of the current law, in the interest of supporting industrial farming.”
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Cornucopia’s attorney and policy experts found that the hodgepodge of new recommendations in the USDA’s proposal includes lenient elements that will institutionalize industrial livestock factories managing as many as two million chickens, or 18,000 dairy cows. At the same time, the policy group found brand new proposals that would require conditions that could put everyone currently producing organic milk on family-scale dairy farms out of business.
“We are calling this move by the USDA ‘cynical’ because reaction from the organic community and industry will provoke so much blowback that it makes the likelihood of the rule’s timely implementation highly unrealistic,” said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute, a public interest group based in Wisconsin. Read Full Article »