USDA grassfedThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) rescinded the labeling standard for grass-fed meat on January 12, 2016 in a Federal Register notice.

The posting states “AMS has determined that certain services do not fit within the Agency’s statutory mandate to facilitate the marketing of U.S. agricultural products.” It also sites potential regularity conflicts with USDA’s Food Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

To continue, the current users of this standard have three options. All must identify a new Grass-fed Standard their company intends to meet by February 11, 2016 and must implement the new standard by April 11, 2016.

This may be accomplished by (1) converting the USDA Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard into their private grass-fed standard, (2) using another recognized grass-fed standard, or (3) developing a new grass-fed standard.

The rescinded standard has been used since May 2006. It was designed to create opportunities for small-scale livestock producers who would like to have their ruminant animals certified as grass fed.

This program was designed for producers who market 49 cattle or less each year, or lambs produced from 99 ewes or less. The two year certification cost the producer $108.

Additional information is available at the Federal Register’s site.