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Take Action Today: 

Contact Your Members of Congress about Organic Animal Welfare Standards 

On January 18, 2017, the USDA finalized long-awaited animal welfare standards for animals raised under the organic label.

But now the House and Senate Appropriations Committees may block the new rule from moving forward. 

This is very bad news for organic. Strong welfare standards are critical to preserving trust in the organic label. The new rule levels the playing field and ensures that all poultry, meat and eggs sold as organic meet the same species-specific requirements for space, outdoor access, and animal treatment. 

Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees need to hear from us TODAY!

See below to find out if your Senator or Representative is on the list.

Call the Capitol Switchboard:
*You will be connected to an operator who will connect you to your Congressional Member’s office. Ask to speak with the staffer who works on agriculture or appropriations.

Tell your Senator or Representative:
“I am deeply concerned about any attempt to block or stall the new organic animal welfare regulations through the appropriations process. Please ask Senator x/Congressman x to stop any type of activity that would block implementation of the final rule.”

Additional talking points:
  • Members of the organic community have been working for years to clarify and improve animal welfare standards in organic. Strong welfare standards are critical to preserving trust in the organic label.
  • Organic livestock and poultry farmers that adhere to high standards are being undercut because of loopholes that allow a small number of producers to deny meaningful outdoor access to animals.  These new standards will level the playing field.
  • Consumers who choose to buy organic eggs, poultry, and meat expect organic farmers to raise their animals in the healthiest conditions possible – to provide access to the outdoors, space to move around, and freedom to exhibit their natural behaviors. These new standards ensure that these expectations are being consistently met and only apply to those producers who choose to get certified as organic.
  • The majority of organic livestock farmers already comply with these rules.
  • Because the organic community has consistently called for meaningful outdoor access for poultry dating back to 1998, it is disingenuous for poultry operations that do not meet these requirements to claim that they have been taken by surprise. Operations that do not currently meet the standards will have ample time - up to five years - to comply with the new standards.
Any efforts to block or stall these new rules would be counterproductive and would undermine the interests of organic farmers and consumers. 


Senate Committee on Appropriations

Chairman Thad Cochran (Republican - Mississippi)
Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (Democrat - Vermont)
Senator Mitch McConnell (Republican - Kentucky)
Senator Patty Murray (Democrat - Washington)
Senator Richard Shelby (Republican - Alabama)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat - California)
Senator Lamar Alexander (Republican - Tennessee)
Senator Richard Durbin (Democrat - Illinois)
Senator Susan Collins (Republican - Maine)
Senator Jack Reed (Democrat - Rhode Island)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican - Alaska)
Senator Jon Tester (Democrat - Montana)
Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican - South Carolina)
Senator Tom Udall (Democrat - New Mexico)
Senator Roy Blunt (Republican - Missouri)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat - New Hampshire)
Senator Jerry Moran (Republican - Kansas)
Senator Jeff Merkley (Democrat - Oregon)
Senator John Hoeven (Republican - North Dakota)
Senator Christopher Coons (Democrat - Delaware)
Senator John Boozman (Republican - Arkansas)
Senator Brian Schatz (Democrat - Hawaii)
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (Republican - West Virginia)
Senator Tammy Baldwin (Democrat - Wisconsin)
Senator James Lankford (Republican - Oklahoma)
Senator Chris Murphy (Democrat - Connecticut)
Senator Steve Daines (Republican - Montana)
Senator Joe Manchin (Democrat - West Virginia)
Senator John Kennedy (Republican - Louisiana)
Senator Chris Van Hollen (Democrat - Maryland)
Senator Marco Rubio (Republican - Florida)

House Committee on Appropriations

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey, Chairman
Harold Rogers, Kentucky
Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
Kay Granger, Texas
Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
John Abney Culberson, Texas
John R. Carter, Texas
Ken Calvert, California
Tom Cole, Oklahoma
Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
Tom Graves, Georgia
Kevin Yoder, Kansas
Steve Womack, Arkansas
Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska
Thomas J. Rooney, Florida
Charles J. Fleischmann, Tennessee
Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington
David P. Joyce, Ohio
David G. Valadao, California
Andy Harris, MD, Maryland
Martha Roby, Alabama
Mark E. Amodei, Nevada
Chris Stewart, Utah
David Young, Iowa
Evan H. Jenkins, West Virginia
Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
Dan Newhouse, Washington
John R. Moolenaar, Michigan
Scott Taylor, Virginia

Nita M. Lowey, New York
Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
José E. Serrano, New York
Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
David E. Price, North Carolina
Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia
Barbara Lee, California
Betty McCollum, Minnesota
Tim Ryan, Ohio
C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida
Henry Cuellar, Texas
Chellie Pingree, Maine
Mike Quigley, Illinois
Derek Kilmer, Washington
Matt Cartwright, Pennsylvania
Grace Meng, New York
Mark Pocan, Wisconsin
Katherine M. Clark, Massachusetts
Pete Aguilar, California


Denver Pre-NOSB Meeting 

Please RSVP if you plan to join NOC for our “Pre-NOSB” meeting in Denver on April 18. The Pre-NOSB meeting serves as a public forum for diverse stakeholders to discuss some of the most urgent and challenging issues impacting the organic community. This year’s meeting will include discussions about the Farm Bill, how to advocate for organic & sustainable agriculture with the new administration, regional updates from organic farmers, discussion about converting native ecosystems to organic production (NOSB discussion document), seed purity and more.

You can view the meeting agenda here.

NOC Pre-NOSB Meeting:
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
9 am - 5 pm
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Pl
Denver, CO, 80202

Organic Luncheon at Natural Grocers (Free Event)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Natural Grocers and friends invite NOC participants to lunch at its downtown Denver store, an easy 15 minute walk from the Sheraton conference hotel. Lunch is FREE, and you are welcome to “grab and go” or dine-in. Free WiFi as well. 

Please RSVP to make sure they have plenty of good food waiting for you!

RSVP for Pre-NOSB Meeting and Organic Luncheon

Thank you to our co-sponsors!


National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting in Denver


The NOSB meeting proposals are posted here. The NOSB is the organic stakeholder board that advises the USDA on organic policy and regulations. The Board typically meets twice per year and accepts both oral and written testimony from the public. 
National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting:
April 19-21, 2017
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Pl
Denver, CO, 80202
Link to Meeting Information and Documents



Help Strengthen the Future of Organic!

The unified voice of the National Organic Coalition members is one of the ONLY national efforts to work comprehensively on both legislative and regulatory issues that affect organic production from the perspective of farmers, consumers, environmentalists, and business. 

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