Credit: USDA

March 18, 2024 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, issued the following statement after the Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized a rule 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 United States. 

This regulation closes a loophole that emerged after the repeal of mandatory country of origin labeling in 2015, where manufacturers could use the term “Product of U.S.A.” on beef products from cows that were born and raised abroad. Large multinational meatpacking corporations exploited this gap to mislead consumers about the origin of their beef.

“I applaud USDA for taking action to close the loophole that allowed large meatpacking corporations to falsely label imported meat as ‘Product of U.S.A.’ after repackaging it on American soil,” said Senator Booker. “These deceptive practices hurt American cattle producers and prevent consumers from making informed choices about the origin of the meat they purchase. This new policy mandate will bring transparency to our food labels, and level the playing field to help our country’s cattle producers remain competitive.” 

In 2021, Senator Booker, Senator Tester, and Senator Rounds introduced the American Beef Labeling Act, legislation that would make country of origin labeling mandatory for beef. This legislation would require the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, to develop a World Trade Organization-compliant means of reinstating mandatory country of original labeling for beef within one year of enactment.Source: Senator Cory Booker



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