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AMI Files Comments on FSIS Initiative to Identify "U.S. Beef"

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

AMI filed comments yesterday in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) published August 7. In the ANPR, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) invited comment on the need for regulations to clarify the definition of "United States cattle" and "United States fresh beef products." In responding, AMI said it "strongly opposes change in current origin labeling requirements for beef (or other meats and poultry)." Further, AMI noted that the ANPR provided no compelling justification for additional labeling regulation and urged FSIS to be guided by the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Citing ample evidence that most of the pressure to establish new labeling regulations comes from producers hoping to reduce imports of Canadian cattle -- not consumers worried about product origin -- AMI stressed its concern about the "growing level of government regulation targeted at the beef industry." It said that producers, who all too often support new regulations, need to be concerned that "The cumulative effect of this creeping regulatory burden has been to increase the cost of beef to U.S. and foreign consumers and frustrate efforts to grow markets for U.S. beef." AMI emphasized that further expansion of the regulatory load on the beef industry poses a much greater threat to the industry's long-term global competitiveness than continued imports of Canadian cattle. AMI's full comments can be found at: http://www.meatinstitute.org/Template.cfm?Section=Labeling&NavMenuID=135&template=TaggedContentFile.cfm&NewsID=434.

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