A need for new labeling standards
We believe if a label on the package of meat you’re purchasing in the grocery store says “Product of USA” that product should actually have to be raised in the USA. Under current United States Department of Agriculture labeling standards, that’s not always the case. That means that the grass fed beef you’re purchasing could be imported from countries such as Uruguay, New Zealand, and Australia.
The current language allows imported meat to bear the label “Product of USA” if it is further processed in a USDA inspected plant. The American Grassfed Association (AGA) has recently filed a petition with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), requesting the USDA to clarify language used in its policy guide to disallow meat that is born, raised, and harvested outside of the United States to bear the label “Product of USA.”
We support the American Grassfed Association petition. We believe consumers want and deserve transparency. Read our open letter to the USDA. But our support is not enough. We’re asking that consumers support the petition too.
A lack of transparency for consumers
According to a 2010 survey conducted by the US Consumers Union, 93% of consumers want country of origin labeling on meat. Similarly, research published in the Journal of Food Distribution Research in 2003 indicated that 75% of consumers prefer to purchase products from their country of origin. However, 75% of grass fed beef sold in the United States is imported. Because of current laws, meat importers utilize “Product of USA” labeling to create consumer confusion at the meat case. Most people purchasing imported meat likely think they are purchasing a product that has been born, raised, and processed in the US.
Make your voice heard
If you agree that the current labeling standards are confusing now is your chance to voice your opinion to the USDA. The USDA is currently accepting comments on AGA’s petition. We are encouraging consumers to take this opportunity to make their voices heard.
Visit the petition at regulations.gov using this link, fill out the required information, and leave a comment voicing your support for the AGA’s petition.
We are trying to get 100,000 comments in support of this effort, so please share with your friends and family too!
Thank you in advance for all your support!