Two days before President Obama left office, he passed very important Organic Animal Welfare Standards, which will vastly improve how animals are treated. (Why he waited until the last minute to do this is a whole other story.)
Nevertheless, he pushed them through, and it appears that the Trump administration is looking to reverse course and kill them.
These standards are gravely important because right now, there is not a lot of clarity or specificity around how animals must be treated. As such, a handful of organic certifiers have allowed some operations to resemble factory farms, with birds living in very cramped conditions and not getting enough time outdoors.
To give you some perspective, it has been estimated that if the regulations went into effect today, 75% of organic eggs would disappear from supermarket refrigerators. They would not be in compliance with what has been proposed. That is how bad the situation is.
Not surprisingly, the major organic egg producers have fought back. They want to keep the status quo and maintain their organic certification without having to treat birds more humanely and give them more space to live.
Why the resistance?
It would cost them too much money to be in compliance. As such, they have lobbied the Trump administration and the USDA to kill these standards that Obama approved. Since USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue took office several weeks ago, he has already postponed the implementation date of these standards once and may kill them altogether.
While these Organic Animal Welfare Standards are by no means perfect, they are a significant improvement to what we currently have, and eliminating them would be a massive blow to the entire organic sector, particularly since the industry has worked for many years to get these standards approved.
It is absolutely essential that these Organic Animal Welfare Standards get passed, and the USDA must hear your voice on this before June 9th, when the comment period ends.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Unfortunately, there is no e-petition to sign or box for you to check. You must actually leave a physical comment on the government’s website, but it will only take a few minutes and will have a much greater impact than signing an e-petition.
Here’s what to do:
1) Craft a statement using the bullet points below and tell the USDA that the Organic Animal Welfare Standards MUST go into effect immediately.
The final Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule:
• Was the product of years of inclusive deliberation on the part of farmers, consumers, retailers and policy makers.
• Evens the playing field for farmers.
• Brings the organic standards in line with consumer expectations.
• Will improve the lives of some 50 million animals each year.
• Will improve the overall organic market and increase trust in the USDA Organic seal.
• Brings lagging producers up to standards already practiced by the majority of the organic industry.
2) Once your statement has been written, click HERE and submit your comment into the docket.
As always, thank you so much for supporting organic food.
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