FRANKLIN, Wis. – In June, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and the American Grassfed Association (AGA) petitioned the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for a change in policy that would allow only meat produced in the United States to be labeled ‘Product of the U.S.A.’ With an August deadline approaching for comments on the petition, industry stakeholders are rallying support behind the petition.
The AGA said current policy allows foreign meat to be imported into the US and bear the label “Product of U.S.A.” by passing through a US Dept. of Agriculture-inspected plant. The organization said abuses of the policy are rampant.
“The FSIS policy needs to be clarified to stop global interests from profiting from mislabeling the country of origin of their meat and to ensure America’s family farmers and ranchers are given a fair opportunity to market their products to American consumers who care where their food comes from and want to support products made in America,” AGA said on its website.
Strauss Brands, a supplier of grass-fed and finished beef and humanely raised veal and lamb, said the current labeling policy deceives consumers and is an unfair marketing advantage for foreign meat producers. The company said “…75 percent of grass-fed beef sold in the United States originates overseas, reducing the market opportunity for American grass-fed beef farmers and the economic and sustainability benefits that stem from the purchase of American-raised grass-fed beef.”