Product of USA Labeling In The News…Again
As we’ve written in the past (here and here), the “Product of USA” claim on beef labels is misleading to most shoppers. You would think when you see those words on a package of beef it would mean that what’s inside came from animals born, raised, and processed in the U.S. But that’s not the case. Imported beef can be cut, ground, and wrapped in this country and carry the claim, despite the fact that the actual product—the steak, roast, or ground beef—came from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, or other places. It’s downright deceitful.
But now, after lobbying from small farm and ranch groups, the USDA has presented a proposed rule to lessen the confusion and is currently seeking comments. The new rule—voluntary, just like the old rule—states that animals must be born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S. in order to carry the “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” labels. You can read more about the proposed rule and make comments here. (Be patient–it might take a few seconds to load.)
The confusion around this wording is why you’ll see the “Born and Raised in the USA” certification label on every Panorama Organic product. Unlike the more common “Product of USA” label claim, this is a certified program recognizing products that come from animals truly born and raised on American family ranches. We have never imported our beef, and we never will, and all of our animals are processed here in the U.S. This keeps small businesses—the ranches, packing plants, cold storage companies, truckers, and other allied suppliers—surviving and thriving.
Why is that important to you as a beef buyer and eater? Most of our customers are values shoppers. They believe in animal welfare, environmental protections, and serving healthy products to their families. All of our beef comes from animals raised on pasture where they’re able to express their natural herd instincts and fed nothing but grass and forage—no hormones, no antibiotics. All of those pastures are certified organic and non-GMO, and every one of our ranchers adheres to a management plan designed to build and restore habitat for the birds, bees, and wildlife that depend on our ever-shrinking US grasslands. When you buy and serve Panorama Organic beef, you’re voting with your fork for a more compassionate, equitable, healthy, and earth-friendly food system.
Not only does our beef exceed most people’s expectations for organic and grass-fed beef, it’s also delicious. (Read more about that here.) With exceptional tenderness and flavor, it’s a product we’re proud to deliver to your family’s dinner table.
We urge you to learn more about the issues surrounding Product of USA labeling and to weigh in with your feedback. The comment period is open until May 12.