WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2017 – USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is delaying the effective date of a new rule on organic livestock and poultry practices to comply with a Trump administration directive.

The rule had been scheduled to go into effect March 20; the new date is May 19. Reince Priebus, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, issued a memo Jan. 20 to federal agencies directing them to “temporarily postpone” for 60 days any regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect.

The Organic Trade Association said it hopes there are no further delays.

“While it is not unusual for incoming administrations to push the pause button to enable a review, OTA and the organic industry support this final rule, as released, and we urge the USDA to avoid further delays and to allow this new effective date to stand as published,” OTA said.

The group noted that the rule “has received strong support throughout the organic chain, from organic producers to the organic consumer. The vast majority of organic livestock and poultry operations including egg producers both large and small, and most major organic brands fully support these organic standards and view them as essential.”

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Industry groups such as the National Pork Producers Council criticized then-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – now the CEO at the U.S. Dairy Export Council – for issuing the rule right before he left the department.

“This unnecessary, unscientific midnight regulation won’t win him any friends in the agriculture community,” NPPC President John Weber said of Vilsack.


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