The United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA) submitted a petition in October for rulemaking to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service requesting the use of certain labelling claims, such as ‘Product of USA’, ‘Made in USA’ and ‘USA Beef’ to be used exclusively for meat products derived from cattle born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States. The USCA has appealed for comments on its petition which can be submitted until 24 December.
In late October, Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds introduced the US Meat Integrity Bill to Congress that the USCA is supporting.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) also reaffirmed its policy supporting voluntary COOL.
The NCBA said it is seeking solutions to the labelling requirements and verification procedures in place for beef products labelled as ‘Product of the USA’, ‘Made in the USA’ or similar origin claims, which will resolve the concerns of beef producers, work at the speed of commerce, meet America's trade obligations and prevent confusion among consumers.
“NCBA recognizes that product labels are a defining feature of the shopping experience for consumers. While the majority of beef products currently advertised, marketed, or labelled as ‘Product of the USA' are likely compliant with current FSIS regulations, the potential for consumer confusion exists,” said NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. “The core mission of FSIS is to ensure all meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and properly marked, labelled, and packaged. While FSIS has policy regarding origin labels, ultimately origin claims are marketing claims and should be regulated as such.”
NCBA added that it and its state affiliates are committed to working together with USDA to bring forward a “meaningful solution” to ensure that any voluntary country-of-origin claims are verified by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) prior to the approval of labels by USDA-FSIS.