Judge Rules Case Can Proceed Against USDA’s Withdrawal of Organic Welfare Rule

Photo:  Pexels

Photo: Pexels

A judge for the federal court for the Northern District of California on August 21 concluded that a legal challenge filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) against the USDA’s decision to withdraw organic animal welfare regulations could move forward. In March, seven nonprofit organizations, led by CFS, sued the USDA and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, challenging its decision to withdraw the organic standards for animals on certified organic farms, called the “Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices” rule. The regulation, finalized by the USDA under the Obama administration in early 2017, strengthened the requirements for the care and wellbeing of animals on organic farms. “We are very gratified that the Court agrees we can challenge the unlawful withdrawal of these hard-won animal care protections in organic production,” said George Kimbrell, CFS legal director and counsel in the case. “The Trump administration unlawfully reversed 28 years of well-settled organic law and policy. We look forward to protecting the public’s right to a meaningful organic seal.”