June 9, 2017

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON – In an effort to improve the consistency and integrity of organic livestock practices and labeling, National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to finalize a set of regulations on organic livestock and poultry practices that are currently on hold.

NFU President Roger Johnson emphasized the organization’s support in public comments submitted today to Dr. Paul Lewis, director of the National Organic Program.

“NFU supports organic livestock production standards that are uniform and account for feeding and animal health care practices,” said Johnson. “As such, we strongly endorse the final rule regarding Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices, which will ensure consistency across the organic label.”

Currently, organic certifiers are inconsistently applying animal welfare standards to farming and ranching operations, leading to consumer confusion and the endangerment of the organic label’s integrity. “This important set of regulations seeks to even the playing field and standardize organic livestock and poultry practices for the voluntary National Organic Program,” noted Johnson.

The final regulations include clarification on how, when and what physical alterations may be performed on livestock and poultry; definition of outdoor access; standardization of maximum indoor and outdoor stocking density for avian species; and clarification on the allowed treatment of livestock and poultry for their health and well being.

“Food producers and consumers alike benefit from thorough, accurate, and consistent food labeling,” said Johnson. “We strongly urge USDA to enact these rules on November 14, 2017, as scheduled.”


About NFU
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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