Urgent: Don’t Let Lobbyists Weaken New Organic Dairy Standards
Farmers and consumers concerned with the integrity of organic dairy farming need to contact the White House and urge the President to support a strong pending standard governing organic livestock and dairy management practices.
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is nearing the end of its critical review of proposed new regulations clarifying the requirement that dairy cows and other ruminants consume a meaningful amount of feed from pasture and grazing. Powerful factory farm interests opposed to the rule – who want to continue to principally confine animals in feedlot style operations – have privately met with OMB officials and are seeking to weaken the new rule.
In the past, USDA officials have used the excuse that they needed tighter rules for enforcement against factory farms scofflaws — this has allowed the rapid rise of feedlot factory farms in organic dairying, milking as many as 7200 cows. These new regulations will negate that illegitimate excuse.
The giant operations have produced so much milk with their cheaper, suspect practices that a surplus is now driving legitimate, ethical family farmers off their farms and out of organic dairying. A strong new rule, coupled with promised enforcement from the Obama/Vilsack administration at the USDA, will level the playing field and prevent factory farms from continued cheating.
Contact the White House today and urge them to support a strong new standard for organic dairy cows and livestock that will require meaningful pasture and grazing.
I support the official comments of FOOD Farmers and The Cornucopia Institute. We ask that you instruct the OMB to respect the 10 years of collaborative work that has gone into clarifying strict pending regulations for organic livestock, especially requiring pasture.
Thank you for appointing officials at the USDA who share our values in the organic community.
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