June 12, 2018 Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Grassfed Association (AGA) and the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) filed a petition with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) demanding FSIS policy be changed to ensure only U.S. domestic meat products can be labeled “Product of U.S.A.”
The current policy allows foreign meat to be imported into the United States and bear the label “Product of U.S.A.” if it simply passes through a USDA-inspected plant. The lack of clarity in this policy allows food companies to skirt the federal law and regulations governing labeling and leads to violations of FSIS’s own policies and regulations that clearly mandate truthfulness in labeling by prohibiting false or misleading labeling and practices.
The American Grassfed Association (AGA), as the nation’s leading organization in developing grassfed meat production and market development for producers of grassfed meat, dairy and pastured pork, is calling on its members, supporters, friends, collaborators, and consumers to help raise awareness, and raise funds to bring about change and better transparency in the marketplace.
Producers should feel the strong need to support this campaign because it clarifies, for their customers, that the product is sourced here in the USA. Under the rules, multi national meat packers can shop for grassfed product at the cheapest markets in the world, bring it into the best market in the world, and label it “Product of the USA”. The American Grassfed Association is the only organization fighting to end this unfair practice for our membership.
Most consumers are unaware that, regardless of where in the world the animals live, once the meat is repackaged, it can be labeled as “Product of the USA”.
The American Grassfed Association believes in global cooperation between all farmers and ranchers, and supports producers of regenerative agricultural practices. We wish them well. However this intentional abuse of a labeling loophole by multinational groups to profit through their deception, at the expense of the American farmer and rancher, must be exposed. Consumers buying American grassfed meats and dairy have the right to know the true country of origin of their personal purchases.
The fundraiser by the AGA has a goal of raising $5,000 to support the collection of data and filing the paperwork to change this egregious mislabeling claim. The result will be increased pressure that, we hope, leads to a change of policy. While we cannot guarantee results of this effort, we can guarantee that nothing will change without a unified stance against purposeful abuse and intentional misleading of our current labeling policy.