USDA Announces 'Product of USA' Label Rule

12 Mar 2024

During the National Farmers Union Annual Convention, which took place on March 10-12, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the implementation of a rule aimed at aligning the optional "Product of USA" label with consumer expectations, ensuring transparency and fairness.

“[This] announcement is a vital step toward consumer protection and builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to bolster trust and fairness in the marketplace where smaller processors can compete,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This final rule will ensure that when consumers see ‘Product of USA’ they can trust the authenticity of that label and know that every step involved, from birth to processing, was done here in America.”

The USDA's final rule allows the voluntary use of the "Product of USA" or "Made in the USA" label claim exclusively on meat, poultry and egg products derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed within the United States. This rule aims to prevent deceptive U.S. origin labeling, ensuring that consumers receive accurate information regarding the source of their food.

The final rule maintains the voluntary nature of the "Product of USA" or "Made in the USA" label claim, permitting generic label approval without pre-authorization by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). However, establishments using this claim must maintain documentation supporting its validity. Additionally, other voluntary U.S. origin claims on meat, poultry and egg products are permitted, provided they include a description of the preparation and processing steps undertaken in the United States.

USDA has issued updated labeling guidance to illustrate acceptable claims and the documentation necessary to support them. This guidance will undergo a 60-day public comment period before finalization.

Establishments utilizing claims subject to the final rule must adhere to the new regulatory requirements by Jan. 1, 2026, and are encouraged to comply promptly following the rule's publication.


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