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National Farmers Urges New Beef Labeling FSIS Rules
USAgNet - 04/17/2018

National Farmers urged the Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Services to establish new beef labeling requirements. The move comes as support for the U.S. Cattlemen's Association's petition, filed Feb. 9, that would exclude product not derived directly from animals raised and slaughtered from the definition of beef and meat.

"As more consumers in this country ramp up their awareness of food's origin and quality, we believe it is time for FSIS to limit the definition of beef products from cattle born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner," said National Farmers President Paul Olson.

Livestock producers in this country deserve the beef product distinction, which excludes products made or created from alternative sources, said Olson.

He said synthetic product from plants, insects or non-animal components would not qualify as beef, as well as any product produced in a lab from animal cells.

Similar concerns are being raised in the dairy sector, with widespread use of the word "milk" used to describe beverage products derived from soybeans and almonds, for example. Grocery store placement of imitation products next to meat or beef, leads consumers to believe the products are the same, offer the same nutritional value or are more similar than they are in reality.

Many brands of milk are placed adjacent to one another in the dairy case, and various types of ice cream and frozen pizza, are purposely placed together, because they are different choices of the same product foundationally. This can cause consumers to blur meat and its imitations into one category, when, in fact, they are food products that should be differentiated.

National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. It offers six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. It helps producers market together. National Farmers' marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers' behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers' interests in mind. National Farmers also provides access to sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. It guides producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options.

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