Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Grassfed Association (AGA) and the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) filed a petition with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) demanding FSIS policy be changed to ensure only U.S. domestic meat products can be labeled “Product of U.S.A.”
The current policy allows foreign meat to be imported into the United States and bear the label “Product of U.S.A.” if it simply passes through a USDA-inspected plant. The lack of clarity in this policy allows food companies to skirt the federal law and regulations governing labeling and leads to violations of FSIS’s own policies and regulations that clearly mandate truthfulness in labeling by prohibiting false or misleading labeling and practices.
Research outlined in the petition demonstrates U.S. consumers want to know where their food comes from and consumers place a higher financial value on food that is local, regional and from the United States. For consumers, the current labeling practice can lead to the disguising of the true origin of the meat and meat products and allows foreign interests and multi-national corporations to take advantage of increased U.S. market opportunities. This can allow for an unfair market advantage for foreign meat and meat products that not only deceives the consumer, but financially harms U.S. family farmers and independent ranchers.