FTC and USDA Move to Clean up Rampant Meat Origin Labeling Fraud

At the Federal Trade Commission’s first open meeting in decades, Family Farm Action Alliance offered concrete actions the FTC can take to make agriculture markets more fair and transparent. In the course of this July 1 meeting — the first for newly-confirmed Chair Lina Khan — Commissioners debated and passed the “Made in the USA” (MUSA) Rule, which requires all meat and meat products to be 100% “born, raised, and slaughtered” in the U.S to qualify for that label. This rule improves labeling transparency by closing the “Processed in the U.S.A.” loophole, whereby meat can be born, raised, and slaughtered outside of the U.S., then imported to the U.S. and repackaged.

“Collectively, the actions passed in the July first meeting show that the FTC under Khan is committed to being a bold regulatory body that prioritizes competitive markets across sectors,” said Emily Miller, Research and Policy Manager for Family Farm Action Alliance.  

Just hours later, the USDA followed the FTC’s lead by announcing a complementary initiative to heighten transparency for meat and meat products using the “Product of USA” label, which in its current state does not adequately protect honest companies or consumers from the misleading practices of meatpacking companies. 

Family Farm Action Alliance applauds the actions of the FTC and urges the USDA to follow through on its public commitment to labeling transparency. Per this spring’s Unified Agenda, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will amend its regulations regarding the labeling of meat and meat products. As we have in the past, Family Farm Action Alliance will continue to demand that both agencies codify an ingredient-based standard for meat and meat products and close the “Processed in the U.S.A.” loophole. 

These moves signal that FTC and USDA are committed to creating more competitive markets, in which independent farmers and ranchers can be rewarded for their honest practices. Family Farm Action Alliance looks forward to working with both agencies toward the creation of a fair and open agricultural economy.

Media Contact: Dee Laninga, dlaninga@farmaction.us, 202-450-0094