WASHINGTON – A voluntary standard for naturally raised livestock and meat-marketing claims was issued Jan. 16 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published as a notice in the Jan. 16 Federal Register, the standard is titled "United States Standards for Livestock & Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock & the Meat & Meat Products Derived from such Livestock."

The standard for "naturally raised" states that livestock used for producing meat and meat products have been raised entirely without growth promotants or antibiotics (except for ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control) and were never fed animal byproducts. This voluntary standard will establish minimum requirements for producers who choose to operate a USDA-verified program involving a naturally raised claim, according to USDA.

More than 44,000 comments from producers, processors, consumers and other interested parties were analyzed in developing this standard by USDA.

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