On Monday, the USDA released a proposed rule with new regulatory requirements to the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim.  The proposed rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.


“American consumers expect that when they buy a meat product at the grocery store, the claims they see on the label mean what they say,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These proposed changes are intended to provide consumers with accurate information to make informed purchasing decisions. Our action today affirms USDA’s commitment to ensuring accurate and truthful product labeling.”


Vilsack announced the proposal at the National Farmers Union annual convention in San Francisco.


“This voluntary effort is a strong step and a strong base for permanent and mandatory country of origin label soon," said NFU President Rob Larew.


“Today's announcement is good news for U.S. farmers, who need the United States to show it’s serious about enforcing our trade deals," said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Chairman of the Senate Finance Cmmittee.  "In January 2022 and again this January, Senator Crapo and I wrote a letter pushing USTR to hold Mexico to its commitments on agricultural biotech products under the USMCA. Today, USTR has finally taken a major step towards enforcing those commitments and ensuring that Mexico will employ science-based ag regulations that open markets for American corn and other products.”


However, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was underwhelmed by the proposal.


"There is no question that the current “Product of USA” label for beef is flawed, and it undercuts the ability of U.S. cattle producers to differentiate U.S. beef in the marketplace. For the past few years, NCBA’s grassroots-driven efforts have focused on addressing problems with the existing label, and we will continue working to find a voluntary, trade-compliant solution that promotes product differentiation and delivers profitable solutions and for U.S. cattle producers. Simply adding born, raised, and harvested requirements to an already broken label will fail to deliver additional value to cattle producers and it will undercut true voluntary, market-driven labels that benefit cattle producers. We cannot afford to replace one flawed government label with another flawed government label."


Click Here to check out the USDA's Proposal.


If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-9791, or e-mail glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com 

More From PNW Ag Network