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FSIS Extends Comment Period on ‘Product of U.S.A.’ Petition

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) extended the deadline until September 17, 2018, to receive public comments in response to a petition submitted by the Organization for Competitive Markets and the American Grassfed Association requesting the agency change the “Product of U.S.A.” entry in the FSIS Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book. Comments were originally due August 17, 2018.

Current policy allows a federally inspected product to bear the “Product of the U.S.A.” claim if the country to which the product is exported requires this phrase, and the product is processed in the U.S., or if the product is processed in the U.S. (i.e. is of domestic origin). The petition asks FSIS to amend the latter part of the policy to read: “If it can be determined that significant ingredients having a bearing on consumer preference such as meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, etc., are of domestic origin (minor ingredients such as spices and flavorings are not included). In this case, the labels should be approved with the understanding that such ingredients are of domestic origin.”

In joint comments , the Meat Institute urged FSIS to reject the proposed change for two reasons stating, “the ‘Product of the U.S.A.’ policy currently articulated in the Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book is appropriate because it accurately reflects Congressional intent.” The Meat Institute’s comments also contend the proposed language would cause confusion and chaos for consumers, packers and processors and FSIS.

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