National Organic Program-Revisions to Livestock Standards Based on Court Order (Harvey v. Johanns) and 2005 Amendment to the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA)
This proposed rule amends the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations to comply with the final judgment in the case of Harvey v. Johanns (Harvey) issued on June 9, 2005, by the U.S. District Court, District of Maine, and to address the November 10, 2005, amendment made to the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq., the OFPA), concerning the transition of dairy livestock into organic production. Further, this proposed rule amends the NOP regulations to clarify that only nonorganically produced agricultural products listed in the NOP regulations may be used as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as ``organic'' or ``made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).'' In accordance with the final judgment in Harvey, the revision emphasizes that only the nonorganically produced agricultural ingredients listed in the NOP regulations can be used in accordance with any specified restrictions and when the product is not commercially available in organic form. To comply with the court order in Harvey, USDA is required to publish final revisions to the NOP regulations within 360 days of the court order, or by June 4, 2006. Accordingly, this proposed rule amends the NOP regulations to eliminate the use of up to 20 percent nonorganically produced feed during the first 9 months of the conversion of a whole dairy herd from conventional to organic production. This proposed rule also addresses the amendment made to the OFPA concerning the transition of dairy livestock into organic production by allowing crops and forage from land included in the organic system plan of a dairy farm that is in the third year of organic management to be consumed by the dairy animals of the farm during the 12-month period immediately prior to the sale of organic milk and milk products.