Under the Trump administration, farm animals, like people, must take a back seat to ensure big business can maximize profits and do as they wish in the marketplace.
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The latest example is a Department of Agriculture decision to kill rules set in place under President Obama concerning the way animals must be treated if their meat is to be sold as “certified organic,” according to a report by The Hill.
When Trump arrived, the USDA put a hold on the new rules which regulated how producers and handlers in the National Organic program treated livestock and poultry to ensure their well being.
The rules, for example, said poultry must be housed in a place big enough so the birds could move freely and engage in natural behavior.
Livestock had to be provided access to an outdoor space throughout the year.
This is terrible news. "Organic" should necessarily mean "humanely raised" but unfortunately it does not. You need to check out the farm for yourself to know if it's a organic farm or an "organic" factory. https://t.co/k0sQTuAc2P
— Zeb Bartels Baccelli (@Zebbart) March 12, 2018
The USDA under Trump decided the rules exceed the department’s statutory authority and may have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic program.
Greg Ibach, the undersecretary of Agriculture for marketing and regulatory program, said the Obama-era rules are not needed because “consumers trust the current approach that balances expectations and the needs of organic producers and handlers.”
In reality, the producers are keenly aware of what it all means and costs, while consumers just see the organic label on the package and assume that means something which makes it better and safer – with no clue about how the animals were treated or whether they are locked in a small space knee deep in their own waste products.
Farmers inconsistently apply USDA Organic welfare regulations to livestock. So Trump bins them? No wonder #veganism is a hot topic; welfare is a mess. Producing meat is never enjoyable for the animal involved, no matter how many rules you try apply. https://t.co/xrK9Y8V2Di
— plantbasedbrit (@plantbasedbrit) January 22, 2018
Trump loves to boast about how many regulations his administration has repealed or eliminated but that doesn’t make it a good idea, or mean that the public is safer or animals are being treated more humanely.
In this case, even some organic farmers oppose the elimination of these rules, but the big business farmers who just want to use the organic label to make money insist on it.
Some of the country’s leading producers, retailers, and certifiers in the organic food space are pushing back against the Trump administration’s decision to nix the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule. https://t.co/d81oky9kkD
— Modern Farmer (@ModFarm) January 17, 2018
What it always means with Trump is that some business that has lobbyists and makes campaign donations will make a few bucks more while the public is fooled and the meaning of “organic” is diluted until it is nearly meaningless.