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USDA reviewing standard for “Product of the USA” labels

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 3:54 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Federal Trade Commission announced this month they will be strengthening its enforcement on the “Made in the USA” standard. The USDA is following suit by reviewing its labels as well.

“A product can be raised and can actually be slaughtered in another country, then brought into the United States, they just make one simple cut or one simple thing to that product, and they can label it a “Product of the USA,” Bradley Dunsmore, President of the Augusta County Farm Bureau, explained.

Meat packers and processors bring in meat from other parts of the world because it is cheaper, but that also can mean the quality is not as good.

“All it does is it hurts the U.S. farmer because people end up with an inferior product than what they were expecting there, and it hurts our reputation in the world market place that we’ve worked so hard to build ourselves as the best beef,” Dunsmore said.

Dunsmore adds that being more transparent with the labeling will force packers to use true, American beef, pay more for it and give business to our local farmers.

You can also help local farmers by buying directly from them.

“If you are in one of the larger grocery stores where you’re going to get into the “Product of the U.S. labeling, taking a closer look at that overall label. There’s some labels there that will actually tell you where the beef was grown and where it’s coming from,” Dunsmore said.

He expects changes to come within the next 6 to 12 months.

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