Two years ago, a new rule was announced requiring USDA Organic meat and egg producers to abide by higher animal welfare standards. The USDA received 47,000 public comments on the rule. Astonishingly, only 28 of them were against this rule for better animal welfare. Yet despite overwhelming public support, the USDA unlawfully withdrew the rule entirely.
Now we need your voice to bring it back.
Consumers seek out the USDA Organic label—and often pay more for it—to support a more compassionate food system. But there is a huge disconnect between what consumers expect from the organic standards, and what the organic label actually means for animals.
As it stands, the label does very little to improve the lives of the animals who in organic farming operations. For example, it says it requires outdoor access for laying hens—but a screened-in, concrete porch is considered acceptable under current standards. Allowing hens to step foot on real grass or soil is simply not required. While shoppers expect organic food to come from happy animals on pasture, the current system allows companies to perpetuate factory farming, takes advantage of conscious consumers, and hurts higher welfare organic farmers.
Major outlets like The Washington Post and NPR have covered this shocking move by the USDA to defy the will of the people because they realize the depth of the problem. While the battle for meaningful standards has since moved to the courts, farmed animals suffering on factory farms abusing the organic loopholes don't have the time to wait.
It’s far past time to align the organic standard with consumer expectations—your voice is needed today! Please sign our petition demanding the USDA reinstate these important protections for farmed animals.