Stutzman wants protection for organic farmers
Last week Indiana Congressman Marlin Stutzman led a bipartisan group of Representatives urging members of the Farm Bill conference committee to include protections for organic producers. In a release issued yesterday, Stutzman said, “When small farmers face legal threats from the Department of Agriculture, they deserve nothing less than a fair and full hearing process.”
Under current law, an organic producer must obtain certification from an agent accredited by the US Department of Agriculture. Without a change, a producer whose license has been suspended is not guaranteed an administrative appeal after receiving a ruling from an administrative law judge and before receiving a final judicial appeal.
Congressman Stutzman says, “Until Congress comes together to protect farmers, certified organic producers have no guarantee to a fair defense if the USDA suspends their license.”
He and seven other Representatives have asked the conference committee to include the Senate’s due process protections for organic producers in the Farm Bill.