The Department of Agriculture has stopped consideration of a national organic checkoff program. The Agricultural Marketing Service published the proposal this week to terminate the rule making for the organic checkoff. USDA says the decision is “based on uncertain industry support” for the program and “substantive issues” with the proposed program. The Organic Trade Association however says the USDA actions reflects a pattern of holding back forward progress on organic by USDA. Organic Trade Association CEO Laura Batcha argues that there is a need for an organic checkoff, and says organic dairy and egg prices are flattening “because of USDA’s failure to move the animal welfare rule forward.” OTA says the USDA statement on uncertain industry support is “simply wrong,” adding that 11,000 supporters commented directly on the proposal.