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USDA Ignores Producers’ Concerns, To Publish Organic Livestock and Poultry Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the 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 publish a controversial regulation to revise organic livestock and poultry production standards.

“I, and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, have expressed concerns multiple times over this detrimental rule,” said Chairman Roberts. “We, and the farmers and ranchers we represent, were flat out ignored. With less than 48 hours left in power, this Administration has overstepped its bounds with this damaging rule.”

“This rule has serious potential to force organic farmers and ranchers out of business and is widely opposed by those very folks who are affected the most by this rule. Prices for consumers could rise, and animal health could be put at risk, which may decrease food safety. I will work with USDA under the new Administration to see what can be done to ease this overregulation on our hard-working farmers and ranchers.” 

Under Chairman Roberts’ leadership, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing in May 2016 on the U.S. livestock and poultry sectors, which included testimony from a variety of producers.