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.

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Photo of Steve Steinborn Steve Steinborn

Partner, Washington, DC

Steven Steinborn literally wrote the book on food labeling as a principal author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) labeling guide. On top of that, he offers clients 28 years of experience in guiding informed business decisions, taking into account food laws and other regulations, as well as the environment in which companies operate. Representing food processors, restaurant chains, foodservice operators, ingredient suppliers, and trade associations, Steven focuses on advertising, labeling, and food safety. He is also a strong advocate in enforcement matters brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the USDA, and state regulators as well.

From small start-ups to established international brands, Steven understands the dynamics of the food industry. He brings this knowledge to bear on cutting-edge issues ranging from claim substantiation to potential food safety situations. He is also regularly consulted in bringing and defending competitor challenges, and represents companies before the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division. Keenly aware of the current litigation climate, Steven works closely with marketers in exploring all avenues to reach important business objectives.

Beyond the food industry, Steven routinely advises consumer product companies on reporting and potential recall situations arising under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. His practice covers a diverse range of industries, including children’s toys, household appliances, infant products, gas grills, furnaces, consumer electronics, computers, printers, handheld devices, and child-resistant packaging.

Steven is a frequent speaker on innovation and legal compliance and has authored numerous articles on a range of subjects, from the latest developments in the regulation of genetically engineered foods to important developments that impact food advertising.

Photo of Brian Eyink Brian Eyink

Counsel, Washington, DC

Drawing on experience throughout the supply chain — from animal production to food processing to distribution and retail sale — Brian Eyink brings vast and cross-cutting industry knowledge to help clients find practical solutions to regulatory problems. Brian is particularly sensitive to risk management issues as companies adapt to a regulatory and political environment increasingly focused on inspections, enforcement, and investigations.

Brian helps food and agriculture companies navigate increasingly complex and high-stakes federal and state regulatory issues. He draws on deep experience with the USDA, FDA, and FTC, as well as state, local, and self-regulatory bodies, litigation, and acquisitions to solve clients’ regulatory and business problems. Brian advises clients on the full scope of regulatory issues facing the food and agriculture sectors, ranging from USDA and FDA enforcement actions and federal investigations to regulatory compliance, import and export issues, litigation support, comment preparation, legislative drafting, policy development, trade association governance, advertising disputes, and labeling issues.

Brian also represents food and agriculture trade associations, advising on issues including general counseling and governance, influencing policy and public perspective, and implementation of industry initiatives.

Before joining Hogan Lovells, Brian served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. While in law school, he served as an executive editor of the Duke Law Journal.

Photo of Christine Forgues Christine Forgues

Associate, Washington, DC

Chris Forgues provides business-oriented legal and scientific solutions to food and agriculture companies and trade associations.
She advises clients on state and federal regulatory issues that arise throughout the entire food supply chain and production line, ranging from USDA and FDA enforcement actions and federal investigations to regulatory compliance, import and export issues, litigation support, comment preparation, advertising disputes, and labeling issues.

Chris’s background in life science (chemistry and pharmacology) assists her in her science-based food law practice. Chris’s unique educational background and regulatory scientist experience provides valuable context to complex scientific issues as they relate to the governing regulatory requirements.

When she joined Hogan Lovells, Chris brought with her more than nine years of regulatory consulting experience. A part-time student by night and a regulatory scientist by day, Chris worked throughout law school at a firm in Washington, D.C., focusing on product review, development, and post-marketing in the life sciences sphere, with experience handling matters under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National Advertising Division (NAD), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as well as state regulatory bodies.