Farm Action Applauds USDA Effort to Improve “Antibiotic-Free” Labeling Oversight

Today the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced new measures to address misleading meat and poultry labels, particularly those claiming certain animal-raising practices like “antibiotic-free” or “free-range.” 

Among other actions, the agency committed to random testing for antibiotic-free claims in cattle, following work by Farm Action and its allies to bring attention to widespread misuse of this label. In meetings with the agency, Farm Action encouraged USDA to take the steps announced today

In response, Farm Action President Angela Huffman issued the following statement:

“We are encouraged by USDA’s renewed commitment to truthful labels, which are an essential component of a fair and competitive food system. In the absence of stronger enforcement, large corporations have been free to make unfounded claims on their meat labels, rendering it impossible for honest farmers to distinguish their higher-quality products and earn a fair living.

“We applaud the plan by FSIS to test random samples of ‘antibiotics-free’ cattle, as this could prevent the kind of fraud that deceives or even endangers consumers and stunts the growth of our local and regional food systems.

“While this announcement marks a step toward more truthful labels, we encourage the agency to extend its testing to hogs and poultry.”

Farm Action’s Truth in Labeling campaign advocates for clear country of origin labeling policies and fights corporate labeling deception directly.

Media Contact: Dee Laninga,, 202-450-0094