USDA Announces Efforts to Promote Transparency in U.S. Product Labeling

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(WASHINGTON, July 1, 2021) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement following the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) vote to strengthen enforcement of the Made in USA standard:

“Today, the Federal Trade Commission has taken significant steps to improve its ability to enforce the Made in USA standard. I applaud the FTC for strengthening this important protection for American consumers. The USDA will complement the FTC’s efforts with our own initiative on the labeling of products regulated by FSIS, an area of ​​consumer labeling where the USDA has a long tradition of protecting consumers from false and misleading labels. .

American consumers depend on accurate and transparent labels to get important information about the foods they eat. American farmers and ranchers depend on these same labels to convey information about their products that consumers appreciate and demand. We have taken note of the many comments submitted to the USDA and FTC regarding meat labeling and understand that the current “Product of USA” label on meat products may no longer be used effectively. ‘one or the other of these objectives, to the detriment of consumers, producers and fair and competitive markets.

The USDA announced last year our intention to conduct our own regulations to address concern that the voluntary “Product of USA” label could confuse consumers as to the origin of products regulated by FSIS. After taking into account the many comments received by the FTC and USDA on this issue, we are launching a top-to-bottom review of the “Product of USA” label that will help us, among other things, to determine what this label stands for consumers. . We believe that this review will allow our next regulation on the subject, announced in the Biden-Harris administration’s Spring Regulatory Agenda, to be comprehensive, effective and sustainable.

I am committed to ensuring that the Product of USA label reflects what a simple understanding of these terms means to American consumers. Throughout the rule-making process, we’ll ask questions, collect data, and solicit feedback. And we will consider any ideas suggested by all stakeholders, including our business partners with whom we will engage to ensure that this labeling initiative is implemented in a way that respects our commitment to work cooperatively with our business partners and to respect our international commitments. trade obligations.


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