UEP recommends reversing organic rule

June 10, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should withdraw the controversial Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices regulation, which would ban longstanding organic egg production methods and force 45 percent of production capacity out of the organic market, United Egg Producers (UEP) said in comments filed June 9.

USDA is reconsidering the regulation, which was finalized on the Obama Administration’s last full day in office. Among other controversial changes, the rule would effectively end the use of “porch” production systems and would require the equivalent of 2 square feet of outdoor space for layers.
USDA laid out four options:

  1. Allowing the rule to become effective November 14, 2017;
  2. Suspending the rule indefinitely while USDA considers its options;
  3. Delaying the effective date beyond November, but leave the rule in place; and
  4. Withdrawing the rule.

With the motion by the UEP Board of Directors to strongly oppose the regulation, and after consulting with allied groups in animal agriculture, UEP supported withdrawing the rule, based on the judgment “that there are too many fundamental shortcomings” in its current form. As a fallback, UEP would also support the second option to suspend the rule indefinitely.