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Chairman Roberts Applauds USDA Delay of Organic Livestock, Poultry Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service announced it will delay a controversial regulation to revise organic livestock and poultry production standards.

“I applaud Secretary Perdue for delaying the implementation of the disastrous rule, and I hope USDA will carefully consider its unintended consequences. 

“As I’ve heard time and time again from organic livestock and poultry producers – the folks who are most affected by its implementation – this rule is bad news for farmers, ranchers, and consumers. 

“Organic consumers will see increased prices at the grocery store; family farmers will be put out of business; and animal health will be put at risk, which will decrease food safety.” 

In May 2016, both Senate and House Agriculture Committee leaders sent a letter requesting a public comment period extension. In July 2016, Chairman Roberts led a bipartisan group of Senators in sending a second letter, requesting additional information from USDA on the rule.

Under Chairman Roberts’ leadership, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a field hearing on May 6, where a livestock and poultry producer testified against the rule. Another hearing in May 2016 on the U.S. livestock and poultry sectors included testimony from a variety of producers opposing the rule.