The Organic Trade Association filed a complaint in federal court regarding the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule a week before the Department of Agriculture announced its withdrawal.
USDA on Friday published noticed that it would withdraw the rule because the rule exceeded USDA’s statutory authority. The rule is subject to 30 days of public comment.
The Organic Trade Association called the move a “groundless step” by USDA. OTA says that by the Agriculture Department’s own count, out of the more than 47,000 comments the department received in the last public comment period for the regulation, 99 percent were in favor of the rule becoming effective without further delay. OTA says that out of those 47,000 comments, only 28 supported withdrawing the rule.
However, Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, who has consistently opposed the rule, says the move by USDA means organic livestock and poultry producers “can rest assured that they will not be forced out of business by another costly and burdensome regulation.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.