The proposed USDA animal welfare rule has been one of the biggest controversies in the history of the organic movement, prompting comments from over 5000 citizens, lobbyists and organic stakeholders. The USDA allows up to two million "organic" birds to be confined on giant concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Advocates say federal law clearly requires "access to the outdoors." But analysis by Cornucopia finds the options presented in the USDA's draft rule would confine birds to as little as one square foot indoors and only require farms to provide two square feet of "pasture" outdoors, half of which could be covered with concrete.
"At best, the USDA proposal delays enforcement for five to seven years allowing continued factory farm confinement production," states Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute. "Families, with growing children to feed, can't wait that long for nutritionally superior food, and more and more are seeking the guidance provided in our Scrambled Eggs report and scorecard, separating phony industrial production from truly exemplary organic eggs."
The report, scorecard, and full version of this release are posted on www.cornucopia.org.
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SOURCE The Cornucopia Institute