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USDA Proposed Rule Aims to Clarify ‘Product of USA’ Labeling

March 6, 2023
Current labeling is misleading to consumers as to the origin of meat, poultry and egg products, agency says.

USDA has proposed a new rule that would allow the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. The new regulatory requirements aim to align the label claims with what consumers actually understand the claim to mean, and the proposed rule delivers on a commitment made in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain — one of the key actions in President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. The changes would be made in the hopes of preventing consumer confusion and promoting transparency to consumers on the sources of the food they’re purchasing.

In July 2021, USDA initiated a comprehensive review to understand what the “Product of USA” claim means to consumers, and commissioned a nationwide consumer survey, which revealed that current “Product of USA” labeling is misleading to a majority of consumers surveyed.

Based on this review, USDA sees a clear need to revise the current “Product of USA” label claim so that it more accurately conveys U.S. origin information. Under the proposed rule, the “Product of USA” label claim would continue to be voluntary, and it would remain eligible for generic label approval.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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