Both the USDA and the FDA recently released updates to food labeling regulations that will significantly affect food manufacturers. On Friday, May 4, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the USDA proposed a rule regarding the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard providing labeling requirements for disclosing whether a food product has been bioengineered.

The proposed

Two groups representing U.S. cattle producers recently brought suit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) based on the agency’s March 2016 decision to revoke regulations requiring that beef and pork products be labeled with their country of origin.  According to the plaintiffs, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund and Cattle Producers of Washington, USDA’s decision

Today, following a protracted legal battle at the WTO, USDA issued a final rule removing mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for muscle cut and ground beef and pork.

Beginning in 2008, Canada and Mexico challenged the COOL requirement, arguing that it discriminated against non-U.S. meat and was outside the bounds of permitted rules

On October 20, 2014, a World Trade Organization (“WTO”) Compliance Panel ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA’s”) revised country-of-origin labeling (“COOL”) regulations for meat are inconsistent with U.S. obligations under the WTO.  The panel found the amended rulings – which were revised to include information about where each of the production steps, including

The American Meat Institute (AMI), along with seven other meat and livestock organizations representing the United States, Canada, and Mexico, filed an action this week challenging USDA’s recent mandatory country of origin rule. Issued by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on May 24, the final rule would revise existing regulations to require covered products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued a Final Rule on April 1, 2013, which adds eight new product categories, and one new subcategory, to the USDA’s BioPreferred federal procurement program. The BioPreferred Program is intended to promote federal procurement of “biobased products” (i.e., commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that are

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a proposed rule to amend the mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) provisions for muscle cut covered commodities (beef, including veal, lamb, chicken, goat, and pork; ground beef, ground lamb, ground chicken, ground goat, ground pork; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish). The proposed rule would

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released a notice on Friday that describes a modified three-part approach to verifying the equivalence of foreign food regulatory systems that export meat, poultry, or processed egg products to the United States. In line with recent trends toward making food regulatory systems increasingly “risk-based,” including FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the new verification method will make the frequency and scope of on-site FSIS audits vary based on prior results of FSIS’s country performance assessment.
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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a final rule for traceability of animals moved interstate. Effective March 11, 2013, unless explicitly exempt, animals moved interstate must be accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or comparable documentation. The rule applies to livestock (all farm-raised animals), i.e., cattle and bison, horses and

The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (“FSIS”) issued a final policy statement earlier this week that changes the agency’s practices regarding the application of the mark of inspection when FSIS test results for pathogens remain pending. The Agency’s practice had been to allow products tested for adulterants to bear the mark of inspection, and to enter commerce, even when the FSIS test results for pathogens have not been received, as stated in the FSIS notice published on April 11, 2011 (76 FR 19952).

Under the new policy, FSIS will not apply the mark of inspection until negative results are available and received for any testing for adulterants conducted by FSIS. The rationale for the change is that while FSIS requested that establishments maintain product under their control pending the test outcomes, certain establishments were introducing products into commerce despite pending tests, thereby increasing the risk of adulterated product in the marketplace.

The FSIS administers the Federal Meat Inspection Act (“FMIA”) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (“PPIA”). These statutes prohibit anyone from selling, transporting, offering for sale or transportation, or receiving for transportation in commerce, any adulterated or misbranded meat or poultry products. The policy change applies to a subset of meat and poultry as follows:
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