Cornucopia’s Take: If they are not reviewed by the Obama administration, the proposed standards are unlikely to be completed during a Trump administration. Cornucopia raised serious concerns about the proposed rule, a true mixed bag with many of the proposals favoring industrial livestock production. It is Cornucopia’s contention that the entire rulemaking process was a charade in order to delay enforcement action on giant factory farms that are violating the current standards (confining livestock/denying them legally mandated access to the outdoors).
Vilsack ‘can’t guarantee’ organic animal welfare regs will get done
FERN’s Ag Insider
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hopes that new proposed organic regulations for animal welfare will be complete before President Obama leaves office in January, but isn’t sure. “I’m hopeful that we get them done,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a report by Harvest Public Media. “I can’t guarantee that they’ll get done, but I’m hopeful they get done.”
Harvest Public Media said the proposed rules – which mostly focus on livestock and poultry living conditions, veterinary health care practices on farms, and handling, transport and slaughter of livestock – are awaiting White House review. They were first announced in April.
The rules are aimed at reducing consumer confusion about “what the organic seal stands for and what they can expect of products bearing the seal,” Harvest Public Media said.
The National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and state chapters of the American Farm Bureau Federation oppose the changes, as do members of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. However, the Organic Trade Association, the main lobbying group of the organic food industry, argue the regulations are necessary to keep the organic label from being watered down, Harvest Public Media said.