Jan 16, 2008
WSPA recently submitted public comments in response to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposal to create a new "naturally raised" marketing claim for use on animal products. Standards for the new label would include bans on the use of growth hormones, antibiotics, and animal-derived feed for "naturally raised" animals. Use of the label would be voluntary on the part of producers, and on-farm compliance would not be verified.
WSPA commends the USDA for attempting to more closely align the "natural" marketing claim with consumer perceptions. Unfortunately, the proposed change fails to accomplish that. WSPA urges the USDA to address the significant demand for humanely raised products by ensuring that "natural" claims reflect public expectations. The current "natural" and the proposed "naturally raised" labels sound similar but have completely different meanings, and this is not acceptable.
Therefore, WSPA calls for a "naturally raised" label that adequately addresses animal welfare, by -- at a minimum -- prohibiting intensive confinement, surgical mutilations, and early weaning, along with the proposed bans on hormones, antibiotics, and feed of animal origin. USDA should also provide for verification of compliance with the label's standards, and rename the current "natural" label so as not to confuse consumers who are unlikely to be able to recognize the distinction between "natural" and "naturally raised."
Please join WSPA in submitting comments on this important proposal by January 28, 2008 >>
For comment ideas please read WSPA's letter to the USDA on this proposal >>
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