Organic Farmers say USDA “Let Down” Organic Dairies
The Organic Farmers Association is asking members of Congress to ensure that USDA’s National Organic Program complies with the law and finalizes the Origin of Livestock rule as quickly as possible. A recent deadline for the National Organic Program to finalize the long-awaited Origin of Livestock rule has passed by. The Association says the rule is necessary to close a loophole in organic dairy standards that has supported rapid growth in larger organic dairies and consequently put family organic dairy farmers out of business across the country. As many as 70 organic farm organizations from around the nation sent a letter to members of Congress, including the House and Senate Ag Committees, asking them to pressure the USDA to make sure the NOP complies with a congressional mandate and finalizes the origin of organic livestock rule as soon as possible. “The organic community is united in the immediate need for this rule,” says Kate Mendenhall, Director of the Organic Farmers Association. “We are disappointed this long-awaited deadline passed without any action from the NOP.” The groups that signed onto the letter agree that continued delays in implementing the rule will prolong the dire economic consequences facing organic dairy farmers, as well as jeopardize consumer trust in the organic label.