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USDA to strengthen substantiation of claims related to animal-raising conditions

In the wake of the Supreme Court upholding California’s Proposition 12 livestock housing regulations, the US Department of Agriculture has announced measures to strengthen the substantiation of animal-raising claims.

In a June 14 press release, the USDA stated that its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will work with its Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to carry out a sampling protocol to detect antibiotic residues in animals destined for meat products identified as ‘raised without antibiotics.’ This action builds on the significant work the USDA has already undertaken, it states, “to protect consumers from false and misleading labels.”

“Consumers should be able to trust that the label claims they see on products bearing the USDA mark of inspection are truthful and accurate,” said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The USDA is taking action today to ensure the integrity of animal-raising claims and to level the playing field for producers who are truthfully using these claims, which we know consumers value and rely on to guide their meat and poultry purchasing decisions.”

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