Action Needed: FTC Seeks Comments for “Made in the USA” Proposed Rule

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking comments for its proposed rule regarding “Made in the USA” claims on product labels.

The proposed rule comes after a public workshop held by the FTC in September of 2019, which collected public comments and stakeholder input.  The FTC produced a staff report released in June of 2020 detailing the workshop, the comments received and the findings of the FTC’s research on the matter.

OCM has long been fighting for effective Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for meat products for many years. The Congressional abandonment of COOL for beef and pork in 2015 has made way for the current system, which allows foreign beef to be labeled as “Product of the USA” as long as it is in some way processed in a USDA-inspected plant.

The FTC’s proposed rule is not attempting to change the current regulations surrounding “Product of the USA” claims, unless such claims are inconsistent with the language of the proposed rule.

The proposed rule suggests that, “it is an unfair or deceptive act or practice . . . to label any product as Made in the United States unless . . . all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States.”

Therefore, we believe that the current “Product of the USA” claims for imported meat cuts, or ground meat that contains imported trim, would be inconsistent with the language of the proposed rule, since all or some of the ingredients of the product come from outside the United States.

OCM will submit comments pointing to that inconsistency, and we invite you to do the same.  COMMENTS ARE DUE SEPTEMBER 14, so please act soon.

To submit comments, go to this link: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FTC-2020-0056-0001

To see comments already submitted: https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&po=50&dct=PS&D=FTC-2020-0056&refD=FTC-2020-0056-0001

To read the proposed rule, go to this link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0056-0001

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