USDA announced this week its decision to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule published on January 19, 2017.  The withdrawal becomes effective on May 13, 2018.  Significant policy and legal issues were identified after the rule was published in 2017.  After review and two rounds of public comments, USDA determined that the rule exceeded USDA’s statutory authority.

“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.”

“It’s official–the Obama Administration rule that would have jeopardized the livelihood or organic livestock and poultry producers can now breathe easy that they can maintain the health of their flocks and herds the best way they see fit, and they will not be driven out of business by another government regulation,” said Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

According to USDA, the number of certified organic operations increased domestically by 7 percent and globally by 11 percent.  Industry estimates indicate that organic sales in the United States reached almost $47 billion in 2016, reflecting an increase of almost $3.7 billion since 2015.

More information on the OLPP final rule is available in the March 12, 2018, Federal Register