News Update
June 16, 2006

USDA Reconsiders Grass-Fed Beef Labels

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials are proposing new label guidelines for grass-fed beef that would tighten labeling standards, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Under revised guidelines, the label would identify beef from cattle fed 99% grass or other forages as the primary energy source during their lifetime. Previous labeling suggestions were set at 80% grass, but stricter labeling will allow producers who feed cattle almost exclusively on grass to differentiate their products, the article noted.

NCBA Supports Japan Sanctions

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Executive Committee voted June 14 to support retaliatory measures hinging on the immediate resumption of beef trade with Japan.

According to an NCBA release, the committee voted to support legislation instructing the Bush Administration to institute sanctions against Japan if beef trade is not immediately resumed. The committee also voted to support a Senate bill to ban beef imported from Japan until the country resumes U.S. beef trade.

Maine Develops Antibiotics-Related Meat-Purchasing Policy

As the first state to adopt a meat-purchasing policy, Maine will now favor meat products produced without antibiotics.

According to The Associated Press, the policy encourages the state’s school districts to engage in contracts with suppliers whose products contain meat from animals that were not given antibiotics for nontherapeutic reasons.

The new Maine policy stems from a law that calls for further study into the use of the same classes of antibiotics used in human medicine in animals, AP reported.

Beef Origin to Appear on Korean Menus

Beginning in January 2007, large South Korean restaurants will be required to display the origin of meat on menus, including grilled and roast beef dishes.

Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare made the announcement Wednesday, calling for restaurants larger than 300 square meters to abide by the rules, which exclude some soup dishes, according to the Korea Times.

Restaurants will have to inform customers of the breed of beef and whether the animal was raised in Korea. Restaurants failing to inform customers will face stiff financial penalties, as well as possible jail time in cases where menus are deliberately misleading.

Small-scale restaurants will be subject to the law after 2008, according to the article.

— compiled by Crystal Albers, associate editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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