AMS No. 178-07
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
Jimmie Turner (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2007 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture today issued a voluntary standard for grass (forage) fed marketing claims. The standard will be published as a Notice in the Federal Register and is titled the U.S. Standard for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claim, Grass (Forage) Fed Claim for Ruminant Livestock and the Meat Products Derived from Such Livestock.
The grass fed standard states that grass and/or forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. The diet shall be derived solely from forage and animals cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) works with industry representatives and others to establish or revise U.S. standards for nearly 240 agricultural products. Industry uses the standards in the marketplace to specify the quality of commodities. Standards facilitate commerce by providing a common language for trade and a means of measuring value in the marketing of agricultural products.
Increasingly, livestock and meat producers are using production or processing claims to distinguish their products in the marketplace. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, through its voluntary certification and audit programs, verifies the accuracy of these claims. The proposed standard will establish the minimum requirements for those producers who choose to operate a USDA-verified program involving a grass (forage) fed claim.
The standard will be published in the Oct. 16, 2007, Federal Register. Copies of the proposal and more information are available by accessing the Web site at http://www.ams. usda.gov/lsg/stand/claim.htm; from Martin E. O’Connor, AMS Livestock and Seed Programs, Room 2607–S, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-0254; or by calling (202) 720-4486.