When the department moved to withdraw the rule in December, the industry group Organic Trade Association (OTA) said, "This groundless step by USDA is being taken against a backdrop of almost universal support among the organic businesses, and consumers for the fully vetted rules that USDA has now rejected".
The Department carefully considered public comments and the relative costs and benefits for both producers and consumers of imposing the proposed additional regulations.More news: An ICE spokesman quit over the Trump administration's "misleading facts"
National Farmers Union, however, said USDA's move will exacerbate consumer confusion about the meaning of the organic label and negatively impact organic producers.
The final rule, published January 19, 2017, prohibited farmers from docking pig tails, something the industry views as necessary for hygiene and animal safety, if the product was to be marketed as organic.
Last May, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, seeking to communicate his view of the agency's duty to the American people, said, "We owe it to the consumer to let them know we are concerned about their safety and the wholesomeness, nutritious capacity about the food they consume".More news: US Deaths Tied to 'Ubiquitous but Insidious' Lead: 410K a Year
Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts in a statement echoed some in the livestock industry who said the rule would increase the paperwork burden and drive up the cost of production for farmers and ranchers.
The OTA had already sued the administration for delaying implementation of the rule, and on Monday said it would push ahead with this lawsuit. "Not only did USDA not have the legal authority to implement animal-welfare regulations, but the rule would have also vilified conventionally raised livestock without recognizing our commitment to raise all cattle humanely, regardless of the marketing program they're in". The USDA is also ignoring the wishes of a majority of Americans who want to see the National Organic Program establish criteria in line with their expectations for how animals should be treated before slaughter.
"The Organic Trade Association will immediately amend the complaint to yet again challenge USDA's latest attempt to kill a rule that has been fully vetted over a decade". "USDA is hoping this issue will go away, but [this] latest action by USDA will only invigorate and solidify more support for this regulation". USDA has requested that this case be dismissed; now they have announced they are withdrawing the rule. USDA wrongly alleges that the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 does not authorize the animal welfare provisions of the OLPP final rule, and, in doing so, cites definitions of organic outside the law. "The organic sector depends on USDA to set organic standards fairly and according to the law".More news: Foreign Law Firms Not Allowed To Practice In India
The regulation was created to ensure that organically grown livestock had enough space to lie down, turn around, stand up and fully stretch.