Friday, February 29, 2008

Naturally Raised

The USDA is considering a new label for meat: Naturally Raised. Sounds nice, but all it means is that the meat was raised without hormones or antibiotics: not exactly the grassy green pastures kind of a thing, plus it overlaps with the 'organic' label. The Ethicurean has more about this. "USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service had previously proposed the development of "no antibiotics used" and "no supplemental hormones used" labels, both of which would provide clear and reliable signals to consumers."

I just filled in the USDA's comment form, which was very quick, and my comment is pasted below if you'd rather have something semi-personal than the talking points provided by The Ethicurean. The USDA is accepting comments from the public until March 3.

Comment: The definition of 'raised naturally' seems meaningless and appears to overlap with the definition of 'organic'. I'm not sure why you would want to confuse consumers. It seems to me that a 'raised hormone and antibiotic free' label would be more to the point.