MFU Applauds USDA Announcement on Product of USA Labeling
SAN FRANCISCO – A new proposed rule that will close loopholes that allow meat from imported animals to be labeled as “Product of the USA” met with applause from National Farmers Union members and leaders Monday.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for the first time announced the proposed rule during NFU’s 121st Anniversary Convention, to a standing ovation from convention attendees.
“Once again President Biden has demonstrated the leadership and the strength to stand up for the family farmer and force the cooperate monopolies to play fairly and honestly by properly labeling our beef and pork so that consumers will now have confidence in knowing meat with the ‘Product of USA’ label will be product that was born, raised and processed in the USA,” Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer said.
“I appreciate Secretary Vilsack speaking to our delegation and sharing his ideas on reforming our farm policy,” Schweitzer said.
“American consumers expect that when they buy a meat product at the grocery store, the claims they see on the label mean what they say,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a news release. “These proposed changes are intended to provide consumers with accurate information to make informed purchasing decisions. Our action today affirms USDA’s commitment to ensuring accurate and truthful product labeling.”
“For too long, American family farmers and ranchers have been competing in a market where imported products were fraudulently labeled as a product of the United States. Thank you Secretary Vilsack and the USDA for bringing more fairness for farmers and ranchers across the country,” NFU President Rob Larew said.
As part of NFU’s Fairness for Farmers campaign, the grassroots organization is aggressively advocating for truth in labeling. Previous definitions and implementation of the voluntary label were misleading and ran counter to consumer demand for clear and accurate country of origin information.
Both Larew and Schweitzer said it is a welcome development in the fight for truth in labeling and a solid step toward mandatory country of origin labeling, which will make the market more competitive for family ranchers.
“I really do think that Farmers Union’s Fairness for Farmers advocacy is having an impact and this is a beginning – it’s not the end. We really need to have mandatory country of origin labeling,” Schweitzer said.
“American consumers need to know where their beef comes from to protect their families,” he added.