NCBA asks USDA to eliminate “Product of the USA” label for meats
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is asking the USDA to eliminate the use of potentially misleading origin labels for beef.
President Jerry Bohn says the use of “Product of the USA” (POTUSA) might mislead consumers if beef imported to the U.S. originated in another country. “We’re asking or petitioning FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) at USDA to change the nomenclature of that label to ‘processed in the U.S.’ that way we believe in a more truthful label.”
Imported beef products are eligible to be labeled Product of the USA if the product has been minimally processed or repackaged in a USDA-inspected facility.
At the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Midyear Meeting, Bohn told Brownfield changing the label empowers producers to increase marketing opportunities. “Then that opens the door for producers who want to have processed-verified labels that lay claims to Nebraska beef, or Kansas beef or Texas beef or different marketing claims that they can get a verified program in place and then a monetary benefit from having that program in place.”
NCBA says the organization hopes to work with the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service to “educate cattle producers, processors, and retailers about the various opportunities that exist to develop voluntary, verifiable origin marketing claims that deliver tangible benefits to cattle producers without violating rules of trade.”