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Two USA labeling comment periods nearing

Background: On July 15, 2020 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rulemaking titled “Made in USA Labeling Rule.” In its rule, the FTC proposes to strengthen its Made in USA labeling requirements to reserve the USA label only for products in which, among other things, all significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the United States and all or virtually all ingredients of the product are made and sourced in the United States.

The FTC is specifically seeking public comments on whether there are any current statutes, rules or policies that may conflict with the FTC’s proposal.

The conflict is this: While the FTC wants to ensure that only products actually made in the USA bear a “Made in USA” label, the Secretary of Agriculture has a policy that says a foreign beef product that enters the USA and is subject to only minor processing, such as being taken out of a big box and packaged in smaller boxes, can bear a “Product of USA” label.

This is the very kind of conflict the FTC needs to hear about. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA)’s policy that allows a USA label on imported beef deceives consumers and should be considered fraud.

Everyone reading this is encouraged to file comments with the FTC regarding your support of its proposed rule.

The comment deadline is September 14, 2020.

Action: Submit your comments on or before September 14. Here’s what you can say: I am a cattle producer or consumer and I support the FTC’s proposal but only beef that is born, raised, and harvested in the United States should be eligible for a “Made in the USA” or “Product of the USA” label.

To submit your comments go to https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0056-0001 and click on the comment box

Or go to https://www.regulations.gov, and in the search bar, type: Made in USA Labeling Rule, then click “search.” Then click on the Made in the USA Labeling Rule (in blue). Then click on “submit comments” on the right, and enter your comments.

USMCA labeling rule

A second rule open for comments deals with USMCA (The US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that replaced NAFTA). The proposed rule amends regulations to implement the rules of origin provisions for preferential tariff treatment in USMCA. Comments for this proposal are due Aug. 31, 2020. To comment on this proposal, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type (USMCA) Uniform Regulations Regarding Rules of Origin, then click search. Choose the appropriate rule, and then click on “submit comments.” As of Friday, Aug. 28, only 36 comments were submitted. Producers may comment in favor or against mandatory country of origin labeling, or other labeling options.

–R-CALF USA news release with additional information


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