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White House Issues “Product of U.S.A.” Meat Labeling Reform; Angela Huffman and Joe Maxwell Comment

White House Issues “Product of U.S.A.” Meat Labeling Reform; Angela Huffman and Joe Maxwell Comment


WASHINGTON, DC
Tuesday, March 12th, 2024

It was recently announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has instated a new policy mandating that all meat products sold with the “Product of U.S.A.” label must be derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S. The decision comes after a six-year effort led by Farm Action’s Founders, Joe Maxwell and Angela Huffman, to fight for labeling reform in the meat sector.

Angela Huffman, Co-Founder and President, Farm Action “The latest Census of Agriculture confirmed that our country is losing an alarming number of farmers and ranchers—the ‘Product of U.S.A.’ labeling rule is a critical step for supporting those we still have and creating opportunities for a new generation,” said Farm Action Co-Founder, President, and farmer Angela Huffman. “Thank you to all who joined the fight with us, including President Biden for urging the USDA to reform its ‘Product of U.S.A.’ label, and to the USDA for following through with this important reform.”

The new rule aims to address fraudulent labeling that could put American farmers and ranchers out of business while deceiving consumers.

Maxwell and Huffman, who at the time led the Organization for Competitive Markets, teamed up with the American Grassfed Association to jointly file a petition demanding USDA allow only domestic meat products to bear the “Product of U.S.A.” label. Two industry associations followed suit by filing their own petitions, a press release explained.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently instated a new policy mandating all meat products sold with the “Product of U.S.A.” label must be derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S

In the following years, the labeling reform movement gained momentum through Washington, DC, farmer fly-ins, national media coverage, and a rally that assembled hundreds of ranchers. However, the USDA denied the group’s petition in March 2020. Upon launching Farm Action in late 2020, Maxwell and Huffman recommended that the incoming Biden administration reform the “Product of U.S.A.” label, which led to President Biden including a call for the USDA to take such action in his 2021 Executive Order on Competition, the release noted.

Joe Maxwell, Co-Founder, Farm Action“These are long, hard fights that are measured in years—but today’s ‘Product of U.S.A.’ labeling win shows that our efforts were worth it,” added Farm Action Co-Founder and farmer Joe Maxwell. “The abuse of the ‘Product of U.S.A.’ label stripped America’s cattle producers of a vital opportunity to market their USA beef while denying consumers the opportunity to support them. The ‘Product of U.S.A.’ labeling rule rights that wrong. This is a huge win for America’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers.”

DMN will continue to report on the changes impacting the meat industry, so keep reading our latest updates.

U.S. Department of AgricultureFarm Action
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