The following is a re-post from the trade journal Meating Place.
USDA announced the agency has decided to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule published on January 19, 2017. The withdrawal becomes effective May 13, 2018.
The rule would have increased federal regulation around animal housing, healthcare, transportation and slaughter practices of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers.
According to USDA, significant policy and legal issues were identified after the rule published in January 2017.
“After careful review and two rounds of public comment, USDA has determined that the rule exceeds the Department's statutory authority, and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program, including real costs for producers and consumers,” an agency news release stated.
“The existing robust organic livestock and poultry regulations are effective,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Program Undersecretary Greg Ibach. “The organic industry's continued growth domestically and globally shows that consumers trust the current approach that balances consumer expectations and the needs of organic producers and handlers.”
Among other things, the rules would have stopped organic poultry producers from using screened-in “porches” to house birds and required them instead to provide organic poultry with outdoor access.
Organic group pursues legal options
Last week, the Organic Trade Association requested that oral arguments be heard in the lawsuit it filed last September against USDA over its failure to put into effect the (now dismissed) new organic livestock standards. Before today's decision to withdraw the rule, USDA had delayed implementation multiple times since the January 2017 final rule.
Reacting to today's news, OTA Executive Director and CEO Laura Batcha said, "This most recent egregious attempt by the Department to ignore the will of the organic industry and consumers does not halt the Organic Trade Association's seeking judicial review, but in fact furthers our resolve.The Organic Trade Association will be immediately amend the complaint to yet again challenge USDA”s latest attempt to kill a rule that has been fully vetted over a decade."
Applegate, the nation's leading natural and organic prepared meat products company, had also supported the rules.
“Our company is harmed by competition from organic livestock products that are not meeting the highest organic welfare standards,” said Gina Asoudegan, Applegate's vice president of mission and innovation strategy. “The absence of a consistent national standard for organic livestock products and its associated additional costs harm consumers in the form of higher prices.”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Humane Society of the United States and The Animal Welfare Institute had also supported the now dismissed rules.
The following came from the NAMI Lean Trimmings newsletter.
Meat Institute to Launch MyMeatUp App Tuesday. The Meat Institute will nationally launch its new MyMeatUp app on Tuesday morning with a broad release to mainstream media outlets as well as college publications. The release is part of a larger marketing strategy for the app over the next several months. MyMeatUp is the first-of-its-kind mobile app aimed at helping consumers become more confident when buying meat and poultry. The free app is the only available app with a full guide to beef, pork, lamb and veal retail meat cuts, and draws on content from www.MyMeatUp.org, a popular resource that was launched in 2016.
Meat Institute staff and members have assisted in giving the app a solid rating prior to release. MyMeatUp currently has 29 five-star reviews in the Apple app store, which should help its searchability. Members who have not downloaded the app are strongly encouraged to do so and provide positive reviews. To download the iPhone version, click here. The Android version is available here./span>
Please help me by completing the UCCE Livestock & Range Social Media for Program Delivery Survey at: http://t.co/C9koJHUPp5
Social media for UCCE Extension delivery is generally faster and less expensive than traditional methods that included workshops, paper newsletters, radio spots and newspaper and trade journal articles. While those methods will continue, I need to justify using the new methods like Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
It's important to evaluate impacts on clientele such as you who are taking this survey and who read my blog. Measurable impacts are often very hard to come by unless I ask. Your responses will also help guide me in writing future blog articles that will be useful to you.
I hope you will take the short time to complete this survey as it will help me to not only improve my program delivery but help me explain how important these types of delivery methods are for UCCE. Thanks in advance for your time!
"Many groups in society, including politicians, activists, scientists, and stakeholders, are advocating significant changes to livestock production practices. These changes include modification of stocking densities, limitations on antimicrobial use, and requirements for outdoor "experiences." Such changes may affect animal health, productivity, and food quality. Simultaneously, many consumers are demanding virtually risk-free food at least cost, and they believe that food safety should be addressed on-farm as well as during processing. It is critical that decision makers understand the relationship between animal health and food safety, which is a complex association requiring careful evaluation of many variables.
The objectives of this paper are to (1) discuss the quantifiable impact animal health has on public health risk due to foodborne illness from meat, milk, eggs, and poultry; (2) identify the factors that impact animal health; and (3) highlight specific research needs. This paper will focus on direct and indirect impacts that animal health may have on public health."
The entire paper, in pdf format, is available for free at:
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