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OTA statement on USDA extension of OLPS comment period

Maggie McNeil
(202) 615-7997
October 7, 2022
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The Organic Trade Association strongly objects to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 30-day extension of the public comment period for the proposed rule on the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS). The new comment deadline is November, 10. There is no need for this extension. The proposed OLPS is largely in-line with the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule published on Jan. 19, 2017, after more than a decade of extensive public input and thorough vetting. The parties who requested the extension on the OLPS commented on the underlying 2017 OLPP rulemaking. They are very familiar with the issues and clearly able to address those issues within the original 60-day comment period. 

USDA Secretary Vilsack on June 17, 2021, directed an expedited rulemaking process to resolve critical topics in the OLPP. Additionally, in the proposed rule the USDA recognized that market failure exists and has put most producers on an uneven playing field. This extension will prevent the expedited process that is necessary to resolve these persistent discrepancies and failures. 

Further delay in finalizing the OLPS rule will continue to disrupt the public trust in the USDA Organic seal and perpetuate the status quo of inconsistent and conflicting interpretations of the organic regulations.