Friends of the Earth Reacts to USDA Animal-Raising Claims
WASHINGTON – Today, USDA announced a new effort to strengthen substantiation of animal-raising claims on meat and dairy labels. While USDA does not regulate on-farm animal welfare and sustainability practices, it is charged with approving labeling claims to ensure they are not false or misleading. However, the vast majority of animal raising claims verified by USDA lacked adequate substantiation, and USDA recently came under fire for approving beef as ‘low-carbon’ through its Process Verified Program.
In response to the announcement, Chloë Waterman, senior program manager at Friends of the Earth, released the following statement:
For too long, Big Ag corporations’ false or misleading labeling claims have duped consumers and undermined truly sustainable and humane producers. USDA has rubber stamped these claims, sowing confusion for consumers and creating an unfair playing field for producers.
Secretary Vilsack’s commitment today to strengthen substantiation of animal raising claims is a strong step in the right direction. USDA must ensure that all animal raising claims are backed up by a third-party certification that exceeds conventional production standards, and prohibit claims like ‘low-carbon beef’ that are fundamentally misleading.
Contact: Shaye Skiff, [email protected], 202-222-0723