USDA Finalizes ‘Product of USA’ Rule, Ensuring Transparency and Accuracy in Food Labeling

By Trish Svoboda

On March 11, during the National Farmers Union Annual Convention, Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, unveiled the finalization of a rule. This rule brings the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim in line with consumer expectations.

The finalized “Product of USA” rule by the USDA permits the voluntary use of “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” labels on meat, poultry, and egg products, but only if the products come from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States. This rule aims to eliminate misleading U.S. origin labels in the market and ensure that consumers receive accurate information about the origins of their food.

The final “Product of USA” rule has garnered support through petitions, thousands of stakeholder comments, and data from a nationwide consumer survey.

Under this final rule, the “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim will remain voluntary and eligible for generic label approval. This means it doesn’t require pre-approval from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) before being used on regulated products. However, establishments will need to keep supporting documentation on file. The rule also permits other voluntary U.S. origin claims on meat, poultry, and egg products sold in the market. These claims must include a description on the package of the preparation and processing steps that took place in the United States to support the claim.

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