Last month, we reported that the UK and US had signed equivalence documents, allowing exchange of organic eggs with only an increase in necessary paperwork.
It would be good to know, however, what the US put forward as “organic certified”.
At the end of the Obama administration, Tom Vilsak, the Secretary of the USDA, approved the rule mandating minimum outside access. This would have disqualified in-line barn and multi-level aviaries from being classed as “organic”.
The incoming Secretary, Dr. Sonny Perdue, rescinded this ruling, allowing sun porches to substitute for outside access.
Tom Vilsak is back now as Secretary and is set to re-evaluate outside access.
So, a new category of egg, distinct from the current organic regulations, will emerge.
The mandatory ruling for outside access will disqualify a high proportion of current organic egg supplies to the benefit of smaller producers.
The UK government should clarify what they have been offered under the equivalence rulings.
Only true organic, including outside access, should be allowed into the UK.