“Product of USA” Label Changes Get Longer Comment Period
The Department of Agriculture is extending from May 12 to June 11 the period for submitting public comments on a proposal to specify that the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claims may only be used on meat, poultry, and egg products when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S.
USDA states that under this proposed rule these label claims would continue to be voluntary. They would also be generically approved for use on (1) single-ingredient, USDA-regulated products derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S. and (2) multi-ingredient USDA-regulated products if (a) all regulated components are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S. and (b) all additional ingredients, other than spices and flavorings, are of domestic origin (i.e., all preparation and processing steps of the ingredients are completed in the U.S.). Such claims would require supporting documentation to be on file for USDA inspection personnel to verify.
The rule also proposes to allow other voluntary U.S.-origin claims on meat, poultry, and egg products sold in the marketplace. These claims would need to include a description on the package of all preparation and processing steps that occurred in the U.S. upon which the claim is made.
Import Restrictions Eased on Poultry from Japan
Effective April 4, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service removed restrictions on the importation of poultry, commercial birds, ratites, avian hatching eggs, unprocessed avian products and byproducts, and certain fresh poultry products from the Japanese prefectures of Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kagoshima, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Saitama, and Shiga.
APHIS placed avian commodity restrictions on these prefectures due to the diagnosis of highly pathogenic avian influenza in domestic birds there. However, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries has demonstrated complete resolution of these HPAI outbreaks and met the requirements to regain HPAI-free status for these prefectures.
APHIS continues to restrict the importation of poultry, commercial birds, ratites, avian hatching eggs, unprocessed avian products and byproducts, and certain fresh poultry products from the prefectures of Aomori, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Iwate, and Niigata.
Importation of any of these commodities originating from or transiting a restricted prefecture is prohibited.
Processed avian products and byproducts originating from or transiting a restricted prefecture, imported as cargo, must be accompanied by an APHIS import permit and/or government certification confirming that the products were treated according to APHIS requirements.
Fresh, unprocessed shell/table eggs and other egg products, void of the shell (i.e., liquid eggs, dried egg whites), originating from or transiting a restricted prefecture, imported as cargo, are prohibited unless they are consigned from the port of arrival directly to an APHIS-approved breaking and pasteurization facility. An import permit and/or certificate is not required for these shipments when consigned to an APHIS-approved establishment.
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