If meat manufacturers claim their products are made in the USA, they must meet USDA requirements of this rule.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

March 12, 2024

2 Min Read
USDA finalizes "Product of USA" label claim.
The new label can be used voluntarily to show consumers that from field to fork, all processes were done in the US.Image courtesy of gerenme / iStock via Getty Images

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finalized the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim, which will allow consumers to more clearly understand the meaning of the claim.

The final “Product of USA” rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry, and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the US. The rule will prevent misleading US origin labeling in the market.

“This final rule will ensure that when consumers see ‘Product of USA’ they can trust the authenticity of that label and know that every step involved, from birth to processing, was done here in America, said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Under the final rule, the “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim will continue to be voluntary. It will also remain eligible for generic label approval, meaning it would not need to be pre-approved by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) before it can be used on regulated product, but would require the establishment to maintain documentation on file to support the claim.

The final rule also allows the use of other voluntary US origin claims on USDA products sold in the marketplace. These claims will need to include a description on the package of the preparation and processing steps that occurred in the US upon which the claim is made.

USDA has also published an updated labeling guidance on the use of voluntary US-origin label claims to provide examples of claims and the types of documentation that establishments may maintain to support use of the claims.

 

At the National Farmers Union Annual Convention, where Vilsack announced the new label claim, he also mentioned announced USDA is awarding $9.5 million to 42 projects through the Local Meat Capacity grant program to expand processing options for the meat and poultry industry and new actions to ensure transparency and a fair and competitive market in the US seed industry.

“...The Local Meat Capacity grants are addressing critical processing infrastructure needs for local and regional livestock and poultry producers, ensuring their products get to market efficiently and cost effectively, which supports local economies, new jobs, and more choices for consumers.

“USDA is also committed to boosting the farmer’s voice in our seed patent system and enforcing the disclosure laws on the books as we deliver more and better choices for farmers,” Vilsack added.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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