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MORE COVERAGE: USDA Finalizes “Product of USA” Label Claim

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday announced the finalization of a rule to align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means. Vilsack made the announcement during a speech to attendees of the National Farmers Union Annual Convention in Scottdale, Arizona.

Vilsack says, “This final rule will ensure that when consumers see ‘Product of USA’ they can trust the authenticity of that label and know that every step involved.”

USDA’s final rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. The rule will prohibit misleading U.S. origin labeling in the market, and help ensure that the information consumers receive about where their food comes from is truthful.

Establishments voluntarily using a claim subject to the final rule must comply with the new regulatory requirements by January 1, 2026.

Separately, Vilsack announced USDA will award $9.5 million in equipment grants to 42 projects through its Local Meat Capacity or MCap program. Vilsack says, “The purpose of this program is to not only expand and diversify meat and poultry processing that are producer owned, but to create jobs in rural places, to create consumer choice, and also to create competition and resiliency.”

The Agricultural Marketing Service will make the grants with American Rescue Plan funds…the first set of awards going to projects in 27 states and Puerto Rico.

And AMS will take new steps to boost transparency and competition in the US seed industry through its Farmer Seed Liaison Initiative and a nationwide Website Monitoring Program to review Seed Act brand and variety name compliance.

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