The U.S. Department of Ag announced it will delay the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule until January 19. The Hagstrom Report says the announcement was strongly criticized by several House Democrats but praised by House Ag Committee Chair Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican.
There are several provisions under the rule, an example of which is requiring outdoor access for poultry that will produce meat to be labeled “Certified Organic.” The USDA announcement says during the course of reviewing the rule, officials discovered a material error in the record and there was a question about the scope of statutory authority.
The agency also says it’s delaying the rule so that it can answer important questions, including the likely costs and benefits analysis. However, three Democrats, including Ron Kind of Wisconsin, said they were outraged, saying, “This is not a regulation for the sake of regulation,” they said., “This rule has already undergone over 10 years of public process and debate.”
The Organic Trade Association filed a lawsuit against USDA, seeking a judicial review of the Trump Administration’s delay of final organic livestock production rules. While the lawsuit is still pending, USDA must answer it by mid-November.