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Members of the U.S. Senate are urging the USDA to provide more information on concerns expressed about the proposed changes to the organic livestock and poultry rule. | Holbox, Bigstock
on July 28, 2016

Senators: Hold off on publishing organic rule

USDA urged to address concerns about proposed revised organic livestock and poultry rule before publishing it

A non-partisan group of U.S. Senators is urging the USDA to provide additional information regarding expressed concerns about proposed changes to the organic livestock and poultry rule before publishing the revisions to the rule.

Thirteen senators, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., penned a letter to the USDA, dated July 26.

“The proposed rule raises significant concerns regarding the impact on current organic poultry and egg producers as well as access and price for organic consumers,” the senators wrote. “Further, proposed changes to outdoor access standards could have a detrimental impact to both animal health and food safety.”

Other senators to sign the letter include: Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Bob Casey, D-Penn.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Gary Peters, D-Mich.; David Perdue, R-Ga.; and Thom Tillis, R-N.C. Cochran is a former chairman and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

This is the second time USDA has been contacted by Roberts and Stabenow, among other elected officials, concerning the organic rule. In May, leaders of the Senate and House ag committees wrote to the USDA, seeking an extension of the public comment period regarding the revised organic rules. A 30-day extension was granted.

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