Monday, March 12, 2018

U.S. gives up on organic regulation

The United States Department of Agriculture has given up on regulating organic farming and food production.

It got into the business in January, 2017, as one of the final things done by the previous administration under former U.S. President Barrack Obama.

Now the department says that following consultations, it has decided to drop the regulations effective May 13.

The rule increased federal regulation around animal housing, healthcare, transportation and slaughter practices of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers. 

The USDA issued a statement saying it has determined that the rule exceeds the department’s statutory authority, and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program, including real costs for producers and consumers.”

It's not clear whether there will be implications for U.S. organic-industry exports. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency got into regulating organics so farmers and processors would be able to more easily access export markets.