NFU Urges Strengthening of Organic Dairy Rule
Organic regulations have been inconsistently applied across the dairy industry. Currently, organic dairy farms are allowed to transition conventional replacement animals into organic production only once. While some certifiers strictly adhere to the policy, others have allowed farmers to repeatedly raise calves using practices prohibited under organic regulations, and then transition them into organic management when they are ready to be milked. This practice has put farmers that play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage and has undermined the integrity of the organic label.
A rule, known as the Origin of Livestock Rule, would close this loophole by more clearly defining regulations for transitioning conventional livestock into organic production. In comments submitted recently, National Farmers Union (NFU) said it was “concerned that a small but significant number of USDA-accredited certifiers are allowing certain farms to misapply the one-time transition allowance” and noted that the rule, first promulgated in 2015, is long overdue and should be swiftly finalized and implemented.