Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Take Action on Origin of Livestock


October 30, 2019

MOFGA has positive news to report on our work to fight for organic integrity: The USDA is taking action to finalize the Dairy Origin of Livestock (OOL) rule. This rule is a critical step in ensuring that all organic dairy producers play by the same rules, and once the rule is implemented, it will ensure that conventional dairy herds can be transitioned to organic only one time, rather than the continuous transition that some certifiers currently allow.

We strive to certify to the highest standards and to the original intention of the USDA National Organic Program, and MOFGA Certification Services has always enforced this rule as it was originally intended. However, confusion has existed almost as long as this rule has been around. The USDA tried to fix this in 2015 through a rulemaking process, but under Secretary Perdue in 2016, the rule was shelved and was never finalized.

Since this rule was shelved, organic dairy has been struggling with oversupply. The organic community has been pressuring Perdue to take urgent action since 2017, but Congress had to get involved to get USDA to finally act.

Over the past year Maine's congressional delegation has played an important role in getting the USDA to act. Pressure from Congress has been enough to get USDA to finally start to finish this rule. The USDA has opened a 60-day comment period on the OOL rule that closes on Dec. 2. MOFGA is collecting and will be submitting comments. We are so close to our goal and we hope you'll continue to take action on this issue  by signing our petition.

Click here to sign the petition

All signatures gathered by November 30 will be submitted with MOFGA's comments urging USDA to issue the rules as written in 2015. While sometimes it feels like progress can be slow, we know that if we keep working together in Maine, and in coalition with our allied groups nationally, we can continue to keep the organic standards strong.