Origin labelling claims on meat and poultry products are once again up for discussion in the U.S.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially submitted a proposed amendment to the voluntary “Product of the USA” labelling regulations. This amendment would only allow products from livestock born, raised, harvested, and processed in the U.S. to use this label claim.
The current USDA labelling regulations allows voluntary “Product of the USA” claims on meat products from imported animals that were then harvested in the U.S.
The USDA stated that greater transparency is the goal of this amendment, and the new labelling requirements “would prevent consumer confusion and help ensure that consumers understand where their food comes from,” according to a March 6 press release.
The Canadian Cattle Association (CCA) has raised concerns about this proposal, citing the possible segregation of imported cattle as a result of the more stringent requirements of the new label claim.
“By adding ‘and processed’ to ‘born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S.,’ the proposed rule incorporates a potentially more restrictive version of the standard contained in the Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) statute found by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to violate Canada’s WTO rights, and to which Canada retains retaliatory rights,” the CCA stated on its website.
A 60-day comment period on the proposed amendment is now open, and CCA has stated it will participate in this along with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and other Canadian meat industry partners.
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