WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJON News) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is tightening what it means to be ‘Made in the U.S.A.’.

A proposed rule from the USDA will reserve the ‘Made in the USA’ claim only for meat, poultry, and egg products born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States.

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The USDA says the rule change is intended to prevent consumer confusion and help the consumer understand where their food comes from.

The rule changes result from a survey the USDA commissioned in 2021. The survey found the current ‘Made in the USA’ labeling policy is misleading and a significant percentage of consumers believe that the product labeled as ‘Made in the USA’ means the animal was born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States.

Prior to 2015, the USDA required country of origin labeling on all food products. Those rules were repealed in 2015 after Mexico and Canada claimed that policy was a violation of free trade.

As a result, under current laws, an animal born in a foreign country, but processed in the United States can carry the ‘Made in America’ label.

While the label will still be voluntary, businesses will have to submit documentation to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to back up the claim.

The proposed rule change is available for public comment through at least the end of April.



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