NFU Urges FTC, USDA to Strengthen Meat Labeling Standards
WASHINGTON – For years, beef and pork that was born, raised, and slaughtered in another country but processed in the United States has legally been labeled as a “Product of the U.S.A.,” a claim that misleads consumers and puts American ranchers at a disadvantage.
National Farmers Union (NFU) has long advocated clear and accurate labeling, for the sake of farmers and consumers alike. As part of those efforts, the organization supports a rule proposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that would strengthen voluntary U.S. origin claims on labels and penalize those who incorrectly label products. In comments submitted today and in a subsequent statement, NFU President Rob Larew urged the FTC to swiftly finalize the rule and “vigorously enforce it.”
“American consumers want to know where their food comes from – and farmers want to tell them. When mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) was the law of the land, it was easy to determine where meat had been born, raised, and processed, to the benefit of both parties. But since it was unjustifiably reversed five years ago and replaced with these deceptive “Product of the USA” labels, it’s become nearly impossible for consumers to determine the origin of the meat they’re eating or for ranchers to differentiate their products.
“By enforcing existing guidance on U.S. origin claims on labels and penalizing those who mislabel consumer goods, the FTC’s proposed rule would help deter misleading claims on imported meat. We urge FTC to finalize and enforce this rule; FSIS should then follow suit by amending its meat labeling standards to reflect FTC’s recommendation that all or virtually all ingredients in a product must be made and sourced in the United States in order to carry a label that indicates it was ‘Made in the U.S.A.’”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.