On July 15, 2020 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rule making 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.
R-CALF believes this is a chance to help re-instate MCOOL or mandatory country of origin labeling. In a press release R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard said, “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.” Bullard continued with, “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.”
Other agriculture and cattle industry groups have supported voluntary labeling, but have not supported mandatory labeling since it was repealed in the US following a WTO ruling.
To submit comments go to https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0056-0001 and click on the comment box. Comments close September 14.