The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it is implementing a multi-step effort aimed at strengthening the substantiation of animal-raising claims. This action builds on the significant work USDA has already undertaken to protect consumers from false and misleading labels and to implement President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American economy.
“Consumers should be able to trust that the label claims they see on products bearing the USDA mark of inspection are truthful and accurate,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA is taking action today to ensure the integrity of animal-raising claims and level the playing field for producers who are truthfully using these claims, which we know consumers value and rely on to guide their meat and poultry purchasing decisions.”
Animal-raising claims, such as “grass-fed” and “free-range,” are voluntary marketing claims that highlight certain aspects of how the source animals for meat and poultry products are raised. These claims must be approved by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) before they can be included on the labels of meat and poultry products sold to consumers. FSIS most recently updated its guideline on these claims in 2019.
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