American Grassfed Association Position Statement on the Newly Released USDA Grass Fed Claim
The Board of Directors of the American Grassfed Association appreciates the effort made by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA to establish a Grass Fed Claim for Ruminant Livestock. That said, we are disappointed with the content of the Standard that AMS-USDA finalized today. We believe that this Standard, as published, fails to adequately address the following basic facets, tenets and integrity of Grass Fed animal husbandry:
• The grass fed label claim can continue to be used by anyone in the marketplace since participation in this AMS verification process is voluntary.
• The unrestricted supplementation of energy is allowed, as long as the feedings are recorded. This standard does not set any restriction on amount, frequency or type of non-forage feedstuffs.
• Long-term confinement practices are allowed under this standard since access to pasture and frost dates are easily manipulated.
• The use of artificial hormones is allowed under this standard.
• The use of therapeutic and sub-therapeutic antibiotics is allowed under this standard.
• Artificial milk replacers are allowed under this standard including milk replacers made from bovine blood meal.
The Board of Directors of the American Grassfed Association feels that the spirit of the claim is negated by these allowances. Further, we are certain that the confusion on the part of the consumer will increase as the consumer’s expectations of grass fed products do not appear to be served by this labeling standard.
For additional information contact Dr. Patricia Whisnant, President, American Grassfed Association at 573-225-7078, firstname.lastname@example.org or Carrie Balkcom, Executive Director, American Grassfed Association 877-774-7277 or 303 243 4300 email@example.com