The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has responded to a petition submitted by the American Veal Association aiming to establish “a regulatory definition for veal and other immature cattle that reflects established industry practices.” The petition included a proposed definition and suggested subcategories for “milk-fed veal,” “formula-fed veal” and “grain/grass-fed veal.”

“After careful consideration of the issues raised in the petition, FSIS has decided to deny your petition without prejudice,” the response states. “FSIS has determined that the petition does not include the necessary consumer research or other supporting data to demonstrate that a regulatory definition for ‘veal,’ based primarily on the dressed carcass weight and compliance with [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulations, is needed to meet consumer expectations for products labeled as ‘veal.’ FSIS has also determined that, for labeling purposes, it is not necessary to define optional veal subcategories based on the live animal’s diet and dressed carcass weight because our current procedures for approving labels bearing animal raising claims provide producers with flexibility and are effective in ensuring that labels bearing these claims are truthful and not misleading.”

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