The following is an edited version of the original press release.
The USDA has released a proposed rule with new regulatory requirements to better align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means. 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 U.S.
Under the proposed rule, the “Product of USA” label claim would continue to be voluntary. It would also remain eligible for generic label approval, meaning it would not need to be pre-approved by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) before it could be used on a regulated product, but would require supporting documentation to be on file for agency inspection personnel to verify.
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The rule also proposes to allow other voluntary U.S. origin claims on meat, poultry, and egg products sold in the marketplace. These claims would need to include a description on the package of all preparation and processing steps that occurred in the U.S. upon which the claim is made.
“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,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These proposed changes are intended to provide consumers with accurate information to make informed purchasing decisions. Our action affirms USDA’s commitment to ensuring accurate and truthful product labeling.”
The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 days after publishing in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted at www.regulations.gov.