Organic Poultry Farms
It’s really happening. In the latest Trump Administration attempt to gut organic standards, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) withdrew a much-anticipated new organic regulation protecting animal welfare on organic farms before it was even implemented. As defenders of organic for more than 20 years, just days later The Center for Food Safety, (CFS), stepped in and sued USDA and Secretary Sonny Perdue to force the agency to implement the new regulations to protect animal welfare and public health.
As you know, organic is better for the animals, and the environment, and many think that it is highly beneficial to human health as well. I personally agree with organic animal raising, which includes space standards, cleanliness standards for proper care and respect for other animals. Organic vegetables is a whole different topic and picture.
Organic poultry, beef, hog issues: the animal, which we forget that we are two, is given comfortable living conditions. Room to stretch your wings to their fullest, sanitary conditions. It is bad enough that we are treating animals this way. But we could at least make them comfortable as possible. Also organic beef farming does not use antibiotics (supposedly), as a matter of course like other beef producers, to promote growth. this is a major cause of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. Prescribed recklessly to livestock, over prescription of doctors, and humans not taking their full course of antibiotics has led to many strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are using these conditions to develop ways around it. So, comfort of other animals and proper use of antibiotics to slow the adaptation of bacteria to their environment. My biology professors tell me that these one cell animals can communicate with each other better than humans can. They are a one cell animal, no brain. So how useful is one.
When another animal has a problem, their response is not to cry about it or complain about it. They just don’t do it again. Look how human animals respond to problems. They try to make it work their way. But I digress.
That is animal organic farming. Vegetable organic farming is a whole different issue. Using phosphorous, ammonia, and nitrogen to give the plants the ingredients that they need could not harm us. Using animal waste which is the best source of tons of harmful bacteria known can and will harm you. And the label “organic” means they can get away with selling for twice the price. Sucker. Like health food stores. They will swear that you need 2,000 mg of vitamin c a day. As an up and coming biologist, I know for a fact that the human body cannot need or use more than 90 mg a day. 150 mg a day, of the co-enzyme L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), if you smoke.
The regulation, called the “Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule,” was finalized by the Obama USDA in 2017. It strengthened the minimum requirements for the care and well-being of animals on organic farms, established clear minimum space requirements for organic livestock and poultry, and specified the quality of outdoor space that must be provided for these animals. Under the new standards, concrete porches and shelters wouldn’t be able to pass as “outdoor access.”
Organic consumers already expect that organic products provide animals with sufficient space, meaningful outdoor access, proper lighting, appropriate diets, and clean conditions. Unfortunately while that’s not always the case, these regulations would establish and enforce those standards.
The Trump Administration has repeatedly made clear its intent to weaken or entirely eliminate the National Organic Program. This latest effort is a dangerous and far-reaching reversal of 28 years of well-established organic policy, as it would prohibit the National Organic Program from protecting animal care and welfare in organic. If not overturned by the courts, this new Trump position threatens what consumers expect of organic foods. This will ruin organic poultry farms.
Over the last 20 years, CFS has been the leading organization in the country defending the integrity of organic food and farming in federal courts and in the halls of Congress. We have won critical battles, including keeping GMOs, sewage sludge, nanotechnology, and irradiation out of organic food, and also keeping toxic pesticides and chemicals out of organic inputs. With our successful track record and policy and legal experts, we will fight relentlessly to protect the organic standards, and organic poultry farms, from this latest challenge.
The rule is the result of over a decade of collaboration between the National Organic Standards Board and the organic community, including consumers, farmers, veterinarians, environmentalists, and animal welfare groups. CFS, as well as tens of thousands of organic consumers and farmers, vehemently opposed withdrawing the rule.
Fighting Sonny Perdue and the USDA in court will take significant resources. But if the USDA’s decision is not reversed, it will shatter confidence in the organic standard’s integrity and trust that products carrying the organic label were produced with care for animals and the environment.