USDA proposes restoring organic animal welfare standards eviscerated by Trump administration, marking big win for organic advocates and consumers

WASHINGTON, August 6, 2022 – Today, the USDA officially committed to reinstating the 2017 Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) Rule, saying the USDA organic label includes protections for animal welfare – a major victory for organic advocates, farmers and consumers. The rule proposed by today’s preprint reverses the Trump administration’s actions that gutted the OLPP in 2018.

“This is a resounding victory for animals, farmers and organic eaters,” said Amy van Saun, senior counsel at the Center for Food Safety. “The USDA has again confirmed our position that Is means consistently protecting animal welfare.

Van Saun added: “The proposed rule appears to fully restore the vital requirements recommended by the National Organic Standards Board and organic stakeholders that were part of the final 2017 rule, including crucial updates ensuring that organic chickens have outdoor access and indoor living, eliminating the so-called “porches” that allowed some producers to raise their poultry in factories. Porches are not organic.

The 2017 OLPP rule governing the living conditions, transport and slaughter of organic livestock is the result of ten years of stakeholder input and expert recommendations. Just a year later, in 2018, the USDA Trump gutted the rules, based on claims that the agency lacks the authority to ensure humane conditions for biological animals and an analysis economy which she then completely discredited. The updated proposed rule also affirms the economic benefits of the FOLS for organic producers and consumers.

The Center for Food Safety, along with partners representing organic farmers, certifiers and retailers, as well as animal welfare groups, sued the Trump administration to reverse its illegal withdrawal of the original OLPP. After years of litigation, the Biden administration announced it would reconsider the removal, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California authorized the USDA to redo and update its regulations.

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