LABELING CATEGORIES

 

The law expressly establishes four general categories of meat products.


 

Product of the United States - A covered commodity is eligible for designation as "Product of U.S." only if it is derived "exclusively from an animal that is exclusively born, raised and slaughtered in the United States."

 

Multiple countries of origin - A product is deemed to have multiple countries of origin if the animal from which it was derived was born and/or raised in a different country or countries and then slaughtered in the U.S. Covered commodities in this category would have to identify all the relevant countries.

Animals imported for immediate slaughter - Covered commodities from animals raised in another country but slaughtered in the U.S. would fall into this category.


 

Imported finished products to be sold at retail - Meat products imported from another country would be labeled as a product of that country. 

 

The statute also has special provisions for ground products such as ground beef or ground pork. Specifically, the law allows ground products to declare on labels the countries of origin from which the product inputs came or, in the alternative, the label may declare the countries ”that may be reasonably contained therein.” Thus, the regulation allows a ground beef label, for example, to list the countries that are or may be the sources of the ground beef inputs, so long as the processor has had in inventory an input from that country in the previous 60 days.

 

 

 

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