Are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) determined to keep chickens penned up, and rob
consumers of the right to real free-range organic eggs?
It would seem so.
First, the USDA's National Organics Program refuses to enforce standards
set by the National Organic Standards Board requiring organic farmers
to allow their hens outdoors. Responding to complaints that organic
farmers were violating the standards, the NOP said they have more "urgent" matters to deal with.
Now, the FDA wants to make it nearly impossible for organic farmers to raise free-range hens. Despite weak scientific evidence, the FDA says it's risky for organic farmers to let their hens come in contact with wild birds. So the FDA is proposing costly, redundant and onerous so-called "food safety" measures on organic farmers who let their hens outdoors.
The USDA and the FDA need to hear from us. Eggs from organic free-range hens raised outdoors are more nutritious than eggs from hens kept indoors and raised on exclusively on grain. Not to mention how much more the animals suffer from being penned up.