Do you want to buy “Made in the USA” food? New federal rule could help

Shoppers who want to determine whether their meat, eggs and poultry were “made in the United States” should find the task easier once a finalized federal rule takes effect.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new requirements Monday for meat and egg producers who use voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in USA” labels on their products.

Under the new rule, labels can only be used for products derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. The rule will come into effect on January 1, 2026, but the government has encouraged producers to start complying immediately.

The labels are voluntary and appear on about 12% of meat, poultry and eggs consumed in the United States.

Under the previous rule, companies could use the “Product of USA” label on meat and other animal products imported from a foreign country. The United States imports about 12% of its beef from Australia, Canada and Brazil, for example.

Some U.S. ranchers and groups like the American Grassfed Association have pushed for the rule to be strengthened.

The Biden administration acknowledged that the previous rule did not align with customer views. A 2022 survey commissioned by the Department of Agriculture found that nearly two-thirds of shoppers believed “Product of USA” labels meant that most or all of the steps in meat production took place in the United States. UNITED STATES.

The department also said most of the 3,363 comments received on the proposed new rule supported the change.

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