CFS and NOC Animal Welfare Lawsuit will Proceed!

Court Rejects USDA’s Claim that Organic Animal Standards Withdrawal Cannot be Challenged

On August 21, the federal court for the Northern District of California issued a decision concluding that Center for Food Safety and NOC’s legal challenge to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) withdrawal of organic animal welfare provisions could proceed. The Court's decision rejected arguments from USDA that the nonprofits did not have legal standing to challenge the withdrawal decision. The Court held that the withdrawal of the rule that set organic animal welfare standards injures the organizations' members because it "undermines the organic label" for consumers.

"The National Organic Coalition is thrilled to see our legal challenge move forward," said Abby Youngblood, executive director at the National Organic Coalition. "The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule represents more than a decade of work to clarify and improve animal welfare standards in organic and has the support of thousands of stakeholders, including farmers, consumer advocacy groups, and other members of the organic industry. With this decision comes the recognition that USDA has long exercised its authority under OFPA to implement regulations regarding the care of organic livestock."

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Lea Kone