The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revoked the labeling standard for grassfed meat that many organizations have been working on developing the last 4 years. It had been finalized in 2006, and was supported by many national farm and consumer organizations.
AMS cited the key reason for this revoking based on potential confusion between the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), which must approve meat labels and the AMS labeling grassfed standards which might not be approved the food inspectors.
The Federal Register notice on January 12th does give producers using the grassfed label 30 days to either change their current label into a private standard or develop a new grassfed standard of their own. For example there are other grassfed labels such as the American Grassfed Association standard that grassfed producers can still use if they want to have a national labeling.
The grass fed label claim standard now being revoked originally focused on such criteria as grass, forbs, and forage needed to be 99 percent or more of the feed during the lifetime of the grassfed livestock after weaning.
To read more about this issue, click here.
To read about the benefits of how properly managed grassfed animals help improve soil health and mitigate climate change, visit HMI’s webpage about soil health.