Media statement: Issuance of the USDA National Organic Program final rule

January 18, 2017

Atlanta, Ga. (January 18, 2017): The below statement can be attributed in its entirety to Chad Gregory, President and CEO, United Egg Producers, regarding the issuance of the USDA National Organic Program final rule:

“In 2016, United Egg Producers (UEP) and its members thoroughly reviewed the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Proposed Rule for Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices, because we recognized the far-reaching impact that proposed changes to the Rule would have on our membership.

“In particular, we had strong concerns over provisions related to outdoor access and the potentially significant – and prohibitive – cost implications of those changes on organic egg farmers. UEP is disappointed that long-accepted means of providing outdoor access, which are consistent with animal health, animal welfare and food safety, are being disallowed by this rule.

“UEP believes that further economic analysis by USDA-AMS using the most up-to-date data available was the right and necessary next step in this process – and we are disappointed that our request for an independent and comprehensive study of the economic impact of the proposed rule was disregarded. AMS has now advised that further, retrospective economic analysis will be undertaken, and we urge the incoming Administration to suspend implementation of this rule while they measure its true effect on the nation’s egg farmers.

“UEP has always supported a wide range of organic production methods, provided they meet the requirements of the FDA Egg Safety Rule. In all housing environments and under all production methods, egg farmers are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of their flocks and to fully complying with applicable regulations, including rules for organic production.”