February 12, 2010
On a call with press and stakeholders this afternoon, Deputy Secretary Merrigan announced the release of the final rule governing the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations on livestock access to pasture. A long time coming, this final rule aims to provide clarity in the organic regulations on livestock feed and living condition provisions and to establish a pasture practice standard for ruminant animals.
Main highlights from the rule include:
Even though this is a final rule, USDA has nonetheless opened a 60-day public comment period seeking additional comment on this final point.
Our friends at the National Organic Coalition have issued a strong endorsement of the final rule, stating that the final rule will enable NOP to “enforce consistently and fairly the requirements to access to pasture.”
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register later this afternoon.