Farm Action Secures “Product of U.S.A.” Meat Labeling Victory

Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new policy mandating that all meat products sold with the “Product of U.S.A.” label must be derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S.

This rule addresses a loophole created by the repeal of mandatory country of origin labeling in 2015: Multinational meatpacking corporations began placing a “Product of U.S.A.” label on imported meat repackaged in the U.S. This fraudulent labeling put American farmers and ranchers out of business while deceiving consumers.

Today’s victory comes after a six-year-long fight for labeling reform led by Farm Action’s founders, Joe Maxwell and Angela Huffman. In 2018, Maxwell and Huffman — who at the time led the Organization for Competitive Markets — teamed up with the American Grassfed Association to jointly file a petition demanding USDA allow only domestic meat products to bear the “Product of U.S.A.” label. Two industry associations followed suit by filing their own petitions.

Over the following years, the labeling reform movement Maxwell and Huffman built gained momentum through Washington, D.C. farmer fly-ins, national media coverage, and a rally that assembled hundreds of ranchers. Still, then-President Trump’s USDA denied the group’s petition in March 2020.

Upon launching Farm Action in late 2020, Maxwell and Huffman recommended that the incoming Biden administration reform the “Product of U.S.A.” label, which led to President Biden including a call for the USDA to take such action in his 2021 Executive Order on Competition. USDA then referenced the 2018 petition by Maxwell, Huffman, and the American Grassfed Association in its request for information to launch a rulemaking process in February 2022.

Six years after initiating the fight for “Product of U.S.A.” labeling reform, Maxwell and Huffman celebrate this long-awaited victory:

“The latest Census of Agriculture confirmed that our country is losing an alarming number of farmers and ranchers — the ‘Product of U.S.A.’ labeling rule is a critical step for supporting those we still have and creating opportunities for a new generation,” said Farm Action co-founder, president, and farmer Angela Huffman. “Thank you to all who joined the fight with us, including President Biden for urging the USDA to reform its ‘Product of U.S.A.’ label, and to the USDA for following through with this important reform.”

“These are long, hard fights that are measured in years — but today’s ‘Product of U.S.A.’ labeling win shows that our efforts were worth it,” said Farm Action co-founder and farmer Joe Maxwell. “The abuse of the ‘Product of U.S.A.’ label stripped America’s cattle producers of a vital opportunity to market their USA beef while denying consumers the opportunity to support them. The ‘Product of U.S.A.’ labeling rule rights that wrong. This is a huge win for America’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers.”

Media Contact: Jessica Cusworth,, 202-450-0887