Action Alerts

June 4, 2019: We Need Your Help for Organic Dairy

IOA signed on to a letter coordinated by the Organic Farmers Association urging action by Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, over concern that the current Origin of Livestock standards are creating unfair and inconsistent interpretations of NOP standards and inconsistent implementation of standards by certifiers across the country. We respectfully asked that the USDA prioritize implementation of an Origin of Livestock Final Rule in 2019.

The current rule is inhibiting the National Organic Program’s ability to provide consistent and fair enforcement; leaving our nation’s organic animal standards unfair and inconsistent. The effect of this is market instability which has resulted in an organic dairy crisis nationwide. Organic dairy farmers cannot wait for the USDA to reintroduce the Origin of Livestock rule in the format of a second proposed rule. 

The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Subcommittee included language in their FY20 bill last week instructing USDA to implement the 2015 Origin of Livestock Rule. The Organic Farmers Association is asking for your help to encourage the Senate to close loopholes that exist by including the same language in their bill.

ACTION:  Please call or email your Senator’s Agriculture Legislative Assistant this week to ask that they reach out to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies to include the following bill language in their FY20 proposal.

Grassley, Chuck - (R - IA)
(202) 224-3744
www.grassley.senate.gov/contact

Ernst, Joni - (R - IA)
(202) 224-3254
www.ernst.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Talking points for an email/phone call - feel free to modify:

Dear Senator <<Name>>

I am a <<farmer/consumer>> and member of the Iowa Organic Association. One of our top priorities has been to urge the USDA to close loopholes in the Origin of Livestock Rule. We want to put all organic dairy operations on a level playing field, this requests helps level that playing field. 

Please reach out to staff on the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to ask them to include the following language in their FY 20 bill:

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall issue a final rule based on the proposed rule entitled ‘‘National Organic Program; Origin of Livestock,’’ published in the Federal Register on April 18, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 23455):Provided, That the final rule shall incorporate public comments submitted in response to the proposed rule.

This is the same language included in the House bill. Thank you for your consideration and support of all Iowa farmers!

Sincerely,

<<Your Name>>


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