Slow Food USA’s work to advance good, clean and fair food for all means that we support localizing American foodways to ease the burden of food travel and production on the environment and our food producers and workers. Right now, if you buy packaged meat and poultry products labeled “Product of USA,” the meat and poultry used to make those products could have been produced anywhere in the world, not just in the US. For instance, by value, 75% to 80% of grass-fed beef sold in the U.S. comes from abroad, according to a Stone Barns report. Let’s support our local and regional farmers and ranchers and eaters’ rights to know where their food comes by telling the USDA to change this egregiously misleading practice that favors meat and poultry producers outside the US.
Here are some ideas on what to share in your public comment:
- The USDA is charged clearly in the Meat and Poultry Act with ensuring that meat and poultry labels are not misleading.
- Organizations including the AGA, OCM, Farm Forward, Farm Action, and Consumer Reports have pointed to USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)’s egregious failings in ensuring that packaged meat and poultry labels are not misleading as to product origin.
- Allowable labeling of products made with foreign produced meat and poultry packaged for sale in the U.S. is the most egregious marketing representation permitted in our meat and poultry processing industry.
- Accurate labeling of the origin of packaged meat and poultry sold in the US does not conflict with World Trade Organization rules.
- USDA FSIS’ current “Product of USA” interpretation is not consistent with Federal Trade Commission policy.
- USDA presently is empowered to correct this misleading package labeling practice.
Photo by Julissa Helmuth via Pexels.