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USDA Withdraws Organic Livestock Rule

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USDA
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flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will withdraw a final rule about how animals on organic farms are raised. The implementation of the rule has been delayed several times.

Supporters saw it as a way to certify that organic meat came from humanely raised animals.

The USDA said Friday it’s withdrawing the rule because it exceeds the agency’s authority under the existing Organic Foods Production Act.

The Organic Trade Association’s Nathaniel Lewis says he is dismayed.

"We’re going to be fighting against that action because this is a fully-vetted and final rule that went through all the proper channels and approvals and we want to see it become effective," Lewis says.

Several Democrats in Congress have also objected, saying the withdrawal undermines the rule-making process.

A 30-day public comment period on the USDA’s move begins on Monday.