After much debate, the federal government is moving to bring clearer and more stringent regulation for organic agriculture, the fastest growing sector in the food system.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new rule yesterday that will require meat and dairy bearing the USDA Organic Seal come exclusively from livestock that have spent a significant portion of their lives grazing on pasture.

"Clear and enforceable standards are essential to the health and success of the market for organic agriculture," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement yesterday. "The final rule published today will give consumers confidence that organic milk or cheese comes from cows raised on pasture, and organic family farmers the assurance that there is one, consistent pasture standard that applies to dairy products."

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