New meat labels to hit grocery stores

New meat labels are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

WASHINGTON - If you are shopping for steaks at the grocery store, you will soon notice a change in how the meat is labeled.

The new labels are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Since 2009, the USDA has required manufacturers to list the country from where the meat originates; but, new rules, which took effect last week, require labels to show the country where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered.

The new labels are only for cuts of meat like steaks and roast, but not ground meat.

The National Grocers Association released a statement that said the costs of this new change will far exceed the benefits intended and will result in no meaningful consumer benefits. The organization also stated the change may lead to extra costs as companies have to buy new signs, labels and labeling machines.

If you don't see the new labels in stores right away that is because the USDA is allowing meat companies to use up any of the older labels already printed.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest said the extra information puts consumers one step closer to traceability to find out where problems originated after an outbreak of disease. A CSPI attorney added that in other countries, you can trace a piece of meat back to a ranch or even a particular animal.

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