Agricultural Marketing Service October 24, 2008 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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National Organic Program (NOP)-Access to Pasture (Livestock)
This proposed rule would amend livestock and related provisions of the NOP. Comments have been received from consumers, producers, certifying agents, trade associations, retailers, organic associations, animal welfare organizations, consumer groups, and various industry groups seeking greater detail on the role of pasture in organic livestock production. Also since implementation of the NOP in 2002, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has made several recommendations regarding the role of pasture. As a result of comments, complaints, and noncompliances, we are proposing amendments to the livestock provisions of the NOP. This proposed rule provides greater detail for selected provisions of the existing livestock regulations, especially as they relate to pasture and ruminant animals. By specifying in greater detail that producers are to provide ruminants with pasture, recognize pasture as a crop, and incorporate pasture into their organic system plan, producers will have better records and tools for managing pasture and demonstrating compliance with the livestock regulations. Certifying agents will have better tools for measuring compliance with the livestock regulations. Consumers will have better assurances that the organic label is applied in ways that meet their expectations that ruminant livestock animals graze pastures during the growing season. This proposed rule would also clarify the replacement animal provision for dairy animals.