The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska organization are supporting the decision of the USDA to extend the public comment period for a recent petition to stop imported meat from being mislabeled ‘Product of the USA’ after moving through USDA-inspected processing plants.
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and the American Grassfed Association (AGA) filed the petition on June 12, 2018, which would reinstate the original Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) definition of ‘Product of the USA’. This definition is based on the origin of the ingredients being labeled.
When mandatory Country of Origin labeling was repealed in 2015, meatpacking corporations from around the world began abusing the label by branding meat and meat products from foreign countries as ‘Product of USA’ after moving them through USDA-inspected processing plants.
This policy change received mostly positive comments from as many as 2,000 farm and food-based organizations, including National Farmers Union, National Family Farm Coalition, and U.S. Cattlemen’s Association; more than 50 members of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, including Farm Aid and Union of Concerned Scientists; policy and community organizations, including the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Western Organization of Resource Councils; United Food and Commercial Workers, a leading labor organization; The Humane Society of the United States, a leading animal welfare organization, and businesses including Natural Grocers and Strauss Brands.
Positive comments have also been received from individual farmers and consumers.
A few negative comments have been received from multinational meatpacking corporations which profit from misusing the label by misbranding meat and meat products from foreign countries as ‘Product of USA’.
In a video posted on OCM’s Facebook page, consumers display disappointment over the mislabeling of the origin of meat as they are told the ‘Product of USA’ label does not necessarily mean the meat products are USA products.
ICON joins with the OCM to encourage everyone to file comments before the September 17, 2018 deadline. OCM is a national organization working for open and competitive markets and fair trade in America’s food and agricultural sectors.
Information provided by the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska.