The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently issued a final rule withdrawing the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) Final Rule published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017. The OLPP rule promised to impose various animal handling and raising requirements on livestock and poultry labeled Organic, but it was never allowed to go into effect during the administration transition. The Trump Administration signaled an interest in revisiting the rule and solicited comments on the OLPP. The recent final rule is noteworthy not only for its withdrawal of the OLPP, but also for the statutory and cost-benefit analyses that USDA cites to justify the withdrawal. In the recent final rule, USDA explains is withdrawing the OLPP Final Rule based on:
- The agency’s current interpretation of 7 U.S.C. § 6905, under which USDA believes the OLPP final rule would exceed USDA’s statutory authority; and
- Independent justification based upon USDA’s revised assessments of its benefits and burdens, and USDA’s view of regulatory policy.
The Organic livestock and poultry regulations currently published at 7 CFR Part 205 remain effective.