U.S cattle group wants trade-compliant truth in labelling, but not mCOOL

The National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) wants to do away with the Product of the USA label on beef, saying the term could potentially be misleading to consumers.

Kent Bacus, senior director of international trade and market access for NCBA, based out of Washington, D.C., explains that current rules state that beef product only has to pass through a Food Safety and Inspection Service-certified facility to bear the label.

The problem, Bacus says, is that the label seems to infer the product is of U.S. origin — which isn’t necessarily the case. Instead, a more generic “Processed in the USA,” for example, would be more accurate and allow individual marketing campaigns to go further, all the while avoiding running afoul of any trade rules regarding country-of-origin labelling.

Bacus also notes that this label, as it stands, has nothing to do with food safety or food safety standards, and any replacement would be the same.

The term that replaces Product of the USA must be trade-complaint, Bacus says, noting that the Canadian, American, and Mexican beef value chain are fully integrated.

RealAgriculture reached out to both the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association for comment. Both declined.

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