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New pasture regulations

(article, Culinate staff)

A year and a half ago, we noted the USDA's efforts to close a loophole in its pasture regulations for certified-organic animals. In February, the USDA finally released its new, stricter guidelines for pasture access. As Robert Sietsema noted on Slashfood:

bq. Previously, these animals only had to have "access to pasturage" — a regulation so loose as to be virtually meaningless. Now, that ambiguous phrase has been strictly defined: Animals must be permitted to graze at least four months out of the year, and receive 30 percent of their sustenance from that source during those periods. 

Sietsema adds that the real question, of course, is how (and whether) genuine access to pasture will be enforced. Read more in the Washington Post's report on the new standards.