The American Grassfed Association and the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) have filed a petition urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to change its policy allowing meat produced outside of the United States to be labeled as a product of the country if it passes through an agency-inspected plant. The groups call for a change to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Policy Book, which allows a label to bear “Product of U.S.A.” if the food is “processed” within the United States. They argue that the section should be clarified to instruct that a label can bear the phrase if “it can be determined that significant ingredients having a bearing on consumer preference such as meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, etc., are of domestic origin (minor ingredients such as spices and flavorings are not included). In this case, the labels should be approved with the understanding that such ingredients are of domestic origin.”

“With the Congressional repeal of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for beef and pork products, it is imperative that when a company chooses to label its meat products that origin statement be truthful,” the executive director of OCM said in a press release. “Allowing foreign profiteers to mislabel meat products plunders the profits of U.S. farmers and ranchers at the expense of U.S. consumers. This is simply criminal.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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