Substantiation of Animal-Raising Claims
The label says “free-range,” but do you trust that label? The Department of Agriculture Wednesday began implementing a multi-step effort to strengthen the substantiation of animal-raising claims. The agency says the effort builds on the work of USDA to protect consumers from false and misleading labels.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack adds, "USDA is taking action today to ensure the integrity of animal-raising claims and level the playing field for producers who are truthfully using these claims."
Animal-raising claims, such as "grass-fed" and "free-range," are voluntary marketing claims that highlight certain aspects of how the source animals for meat and poultry products are raised. These claims must be approved by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service before they can be included on the labels of meat and poultry products sold to consumers.
How are they going to go about the process?
FSIS will conduct a sampling project to assess antibiotic residues in cattle destined for the "raised without antibiotics" market. FSIS will also issue a revised industry guideline to recommend that companies strengthen the documentation they submit to the agency to substantiate animal-raising claims.