Speak up about new ‘Product of USA’ label

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SUBLETTE COUNTY – For the second time (or is it the third), the comment period is extended for those interested to review the proposed rule for voluntary “Product of USA” labeling that would only apply to animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposes this rule to make country-of-origin labeling a voluntary action, to benefit producers and consumers.

FSIS published the rule on March 13 with a May 12 deadline. The proposed rule will be open for comments for an additional 30 days until June 11.

The agency’s new regulatory requirements are written to “better align the voluntary n’Product of USA’ with consumers’ understanding of what the claim means,” according to the March FSIS announcement.

The proposal allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” claim to be used only on FSIS-regulated products that are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States.

FSIS extended the comment period in response to requests from an industry association and a foreign country for more time to form comments on the proposed regulations’ impact.

To read the FSIS’s proposed rule and regulations and to comment, visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/federal-register-rulemaking/federal-register-rules/voluntary-labeling-fsis-regulated.

Submit comments there by June 11 or mail to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Mailstop 3758, Washington, D.C., 20250-3700.

All comments must include the agency name and docket number FSIS 2022-0015.