USDA clarifies organic rules for meat and milk

New organic rules for meat and milk were announced on Friday, will take effect in June 2010, and farmers and ranchers have one year to comply, reports the Chicago Tribune. It has been a long debate, but the USDA says organic milk and meat must come from livestock grazing on pasture for at least four months of the year; and 30 percent of their feed must come from grazing, compared to the old rule that stated animals must have “access to pasture.”

 

These rules clarify for the first time the standard for organic food for ranchers, food companies and consumers, who have not had a clear standard for livestock.

 

The organic market grew to $24 billion (3.5 percent share) in 2008, according to the Organic Trade Association.