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Consumer Reports Supports USDA Proposal to Strengthen Requirements for “Product of USA” Label Claim on Meat, Poultry and Egg Products

Proposal Will Help Consumers Shop with Confidence When Purchasing Products Carrying the Label

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The USDA’s proposed new requirements defining the “Product of USA” label for meat, poultry, and egg products will help consumers have greater confidence in the claim when shopping at the grocery store, according to Consumer Reports.

Under the USDA’s proposal, the voluntary label (sometimes appearing as “Made in the USA”) can only be used on products when they are “derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.” A nationwide survey conducted by the USDA found that the proposed definition is in keeping with what a majority of consumers expect, even though the label is currently allowed on some products that come from animals from foreign countries.

“Shoppers sometimes pay premium prices for products carrying the “Product of USA” label and deserve to know they can depend on that claim,” said Brian Ronholm, director of food policy for Consumer Reports, which has a long history of advocating for country of origin labeling. “But some products that carry the label actually come from other countries, which is misleading and unfair to consumers.  The USDA’s proposal will help ensure consumers can shop with confidence knowing that the label means what it says.”

Under the current definition allowed for the label, companies can use the claim on products that have been imported from a foreign country and repackaged or processed in the U.S. Companies can also use the label on meat products derived from animals that have been imported from a foreign country, fed for a couple of months and then slaughtered in the U.S.

Media Contact: Michael McCauley, michael.mccauley@consumer.org, 415-902-9537