retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Farm Journal reports that a coalition of organic food companies and consumer groups took out an full-page ad in the Washington Post this week that criticized the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue “for the decision to withdraw standards for animal welfare in organic food production.”

The criticism stems from the USDA’s move to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule, which was issued in the final days of the Obama administration.

OLPP, the story says, “clarifies and codifies animal welfare practices that give consumers what they expect in organic food choices, and is the result of a 20-year process with bipartisan support. The protestors claim that is now being subverted by political interference and the influence of industrial agriculture.”

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), says that “currently, we have too much inconsistency in how organic certifiers apply animal welfare standards to farming and ranching operations. This, in turn, endangers the organic label's integrity and leads to consumer confusion.”

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, called the move to pull the rule “wise,” and said that “organic livestock and poultry producers can rest assured that they will not be forced out of business by another costly and burdensome regulation.”
KC's View:
A cynical mind would decide that this move by USDA crosses off two boxes - it reverses an Obama era initiative, and gets rid of a regulation. Who could ask for anything more?

Except that it seems possible, certainly in this case, that not every regulation is a bad one, and that not everything done between 2009 and 2016 was a bad thing.