Mexico’s Agriculture Ministry recently voiced concerns regarding the proposed voluntary “Product of USA” label effort. Announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week, the label claim would be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.
Mexico’s Agriculture Ministry claims the proposal, “even when it is a voluntary claim, could have implications for discriminating against Mexican exports of live animals and meat products.” Mexico is the second largest supplier of beef and beef products to the U.S., representing 24 percent of total U.S. imports. Congress repealed mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for meat products in 2016, after the World Trade Organization approved trade retaliations by Canada and Mexico over the issue.
USDA says petitions, thousands of stakeholder comments, and data support its proposal. A comprehensive review in 2021 by USDA “shows there is a clear need to revise” the “Product of USA” label claim.