Greenfield, MA (Feb. 12, 2003)--Today, the House delegation to the Appropriations Committee is proposing language for the 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (House Joint Resolution 2), that, if adopted, would gut organic livestock standards and threaten the organic livestock industry. The House has not released this language publicly but OTA sources on the Hill say the provisions would be a major setback for the organic rule and for the industry.
“The Organic Trade Association will not tolerate any provisions which dilute the stringent national organic standards sought by the public. Over 275,000 people spoke loud and clear in comments when the rule was proposed, and demanded that the new standards keep ‘organic’ organic,” said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA executive director.
It is a standard operating procedure in the United States to provide 100% organic feed for organic livestock, and organic feed is readily available. The rule already includes emergency feed provisions should there be a feed shortage, and that is clearly not the case at this time. By including language that would gut the livestock provisions of the National Organic Program, the House delegation to the Appropriations Conference Committee threatens the very credibility of the term organic, and the livelihood of some of America’s most innovative and dynamic farmers.
February 12, 2003
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