Tag Archives beef

Reps. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.) have introduced the Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully (MEAT) Act, which would "codify the definition of beef for labeling purposes, reinforce existing misbranding provisions to eliminate consumer confusion, and enhance enforcement measures available to the [U.S. Department of Agriculture] if the [Food and Drug Administration] fails to take appropriate action," according to Marshall's press release. "The lack of any Federal definition of 'beef' or 'beef products' for the purposes of meat food product labeling has led some to begin marketing imitation products as meat or beef, creating the opportunity for marketplace confusion and consumer fraud that Congress originally charged the various Federal food regulatory agencies with the duty to prevent," the bill's text states. "Imitation products labeled as beef or as beef products create confusion in the marketplace. These products are in direct violation of the 'Congressional Findings and Declaration of Policy'…

A Washington federal court has granted summary judgment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a lawsuit filed by ranchers and cattle producers challenging the agency's regulations governing the removal of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef and pork. Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund v. USDA, No. 17-0223 (entered June 5, 2018). The complaint alleged that the 2016 COOL Requirement Removal Rule conflicted with the Tariff Act of 1930, which stated that “every article of foreign origin . . . imported into the United States shall be marked . . . in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article.” The court found that the relevant provisions in the 2016 rule were enacted to comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) decisions finding that the COOL requirements of the Agricultural Marketing Act discriminated against imported meat. The court…

The Good Food Institute (GFI), with a group of plant-based and “clean” meat companies, has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responding to a petition filed by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association requesting that the agency restrict the definitions of “beef” and “meat” to products derived from live animals. GFI argues that USDA cannot grant the petition because the agency lacks authority over plant-based products, which are governed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. USDA is “authorized only to regulate meat labels to protect the health and welfare of consumers, not to prop up an industry or favor one production method over another,” the group asserts. In addition, the group argues that plant-based or clean meat product labels that “clearly and accurately disclose the nature of the product” do not violate the labeling requirements of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or the Federal Meat Inspection…

Using a "food impacts" database, researchers from Tulane University and the University of Michigan have reportedly found that high levels of beef and dairy consumption account for large portions of diet-related greenhouse gas emissions. Martin C. Heller, et al., “Greenhouse gas emissions and energy use associated with production of individual self-selected US diets,” Environmental Research Letters, March 2018. The study reported that the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions by food group was “quite typical of Western dietary patterns, with the dominant impacts coming from meats and dairy.” Beef consumption accounted for 72 percent of the emissions difference between the highest-impact and lowest-impact groups. The researchers also discovered that beverages, primarily fruit and vegetable juices, had the third-largest impact in the analysis. A New York Times op-ed argued a similar point less than a week before the study's publication. Citing a paper by researchers from the Toulouse School of Economics on the practicality…

With companies creating plant-based foods that look and taste like real meat—and even getting product placement in grocery meat cases—USA Today reports that U.S. cattle ranchers are disputing the categories of the products developed and sold by these companies, including Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. The United States Cattlemen’s Association has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling for the agency to establish beef labeling that would limit the use of the terms “beef” and “meat” to products derived from animal sources and inform consumers about the difference between such products and “alternative protein sources.” The petition is reportedly aimed not only at “plant-based meat” substitutes such as tofu but also at “clean meat” grown in a lab from animal stem cells. The firm Allied Market Research reportedly predicts that plant-based meat businesses could sell $5.2 billion worth of products by 2020. About 60 percent of…

Europol has announced the arrests of 66 people following a four-year investigation into an organized-crime group accused of selling horsemeat "not suitable for consumption" as beef products. The investigation began in 2013 after Irish authorities found products sold as beef burgers that contained horsemeat and led to a Dutch man in Spain alleged to be the leader of the scheme. According to Europol's July 16, 2017, press release, "Investigators concluded that the Spanish element of this organisation was a small part of the whole European structure controlled by the Dutch suspect."   Issue 641

A New York plaintiff has filed a proposed class action against Dunkin’ Brands alleging the chain’s "Angus Steak" breakfast sandwiches contain beef patties rather than Angus steak. Chen v. Dunkin’ Brands, No. 17-3808 (E.D.N.Y., filed June 25, 2017). The complaint alleges that the restaurant’s “Angus Steak and Egg Sandwich” and “Angus Steak and Egg Snack N’ Go Wrap” do not contain “steak” but instead a beef patty of “minced meat which contains ‘fillers and binders.’” Claiming violations of state consumer-protection laws and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, unjust enrichment, breach of warranties and negligent misrepresentation, the plaintiff seeks class certification, disgorgement, damages and attorney’s fees.   Issue 640

Two livestock trade associations have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging the agency’s 2016 repeal of marking and labeling regulations violates the Meat Inspection Act and the Tariff Act. Ranchers-­Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of Am. v. U.S. Dept of Agric., No. 17-­0223 (E.D. Wash., filed June 19, 2017). The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) and the Cattle Producers of Washington (CPW) assert that the Meat Inspection Act requires that meat from animals slaughtered outside the United States be “marked and labeled as required for imported articles” and the Tariff Act requires “conspicuous” marking “as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article." After a World Trade Organization ruling against a U.S. requirement to include country­-of­-origin labeling (COOL) on imports of livestock from Canada and Mexico, USDA…

An Alberta court has reportedly approved a settlement agreement in a class action stemming from an E. coli outbreak that resulted in the recall of nearly 4 million pounds of beef in Canada and the United States, amounting to the largest meat recall in Canadian history. Harrison v. XL Foods Inc., No. 1203-14727 (Can. Alta. Q.B., order entered February 17, 2016). Under the settlement agreement, the class is open to consumers in Canada and the United States who either purchased XL Foods Inc.’s beef, thereby suffering an economic injury, or consumed it, causing them to contract an illness. Eligible class members can receive a full refund with proof of purchase or CAN $25 without. See CBC News, February 17, 2016.   Issue 595

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued guidance about new labeling requirements for raw or partially cooked mechanically tenderized beef products, including those injected with marinade or solution. In addition to stating that the products have been mechanically, blade or needle tenderized, the labels must also provide cooking instructions to ensure their proper handling by household consumers, restaurants and similar venues. Because mechanical tenderization has been linked to the possible introduction of pathogens into the interior of beef products, certain cooking time and temperature combinations can prevent foodborne illness. The labeling mandate takes effect in May 2016 or one year after the new requirements are published in the Federal Register. See USDA Press Release, May 13, 2015.   Issue 565

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