United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived From Such Livestock, 67266-67268 [E7-23103]

Download as PDF 67266 Notices Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 228 Wednesday, November 28, 2007 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. JOINT BOARD FOR THE ENROLLMENT OF ACTUARIES Meeting of the Advisory Committee; Meeting Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. ACTION: Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Executive Director of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries gives notice of a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations (portions of which will be open to the public) in Washington, DC at the Office of Professional Responsibility on January 7 and January 8, 2008. DATES: Monday, January 7, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, January 8, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in Room 6505, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick W. McDonough, Executive Director of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries, 202–622–8225. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations will meet in Room 6505, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC on Monday, January 7, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, January 8, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss topics and questions that may be recommended for inclusion on future Joint Board examinations in actuarial mathematics and methodology referred to in 29 U.S.C. 1242(a)(1)(B) and to review the November 2007 Pension (EA–2A) Joint Board Examination in order to make recommendations relative thereto, including the minimum acceptable pass score. Topics for inclusion on the syllabus for the Joint Board’s examination program for the VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 27, 2007 Jkt 214001 May 2008 Basic (EA–1) Examination and the May 2008 Pension (EA–2B) Examination will be discussed. A determination has been made as required by section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App., that the portions of the meeting dealing with the discussion of questions that may appear on the Joint Board’s examinations and the review of the November 2007 Joint Board examination fall within the exceptions to the open meeting requirement set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B), and that the public interest requires that such portions be closed to public participation. The portion of the meeting dealing with the discussion of the other topics will commence at 1 p.m. on January 7 and will continue for as long as necessary to complete the discussion, but not beyond 3 p.m. Time permitting, after the close of this discussion by Committee members, interested persons may make statements germane to this subject. Persons wishing to make oral statements should notify the Executive Director in writing prior to the meeting in order to aid in scheduling the time available and should submit the written text, or at a minimum, an outline of comments they propose to make orally. Such comments will be limited to 10 minutes in length. All persons planning to attend the public session should notify the Executive Director in writing to obtain building entry. Notifications of intent to make an oral statement or to attend must be faxed, no later than December 31, 2007, to 202–622–8300, Attn: Executive Director. Any interested person also may file a written statement for consideration by the Joint Board and the Committee by sending it to the Internal Revenue Service, Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries, Attn: Executive Director, SE:OPR, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20224. Dated: November 14, 2007. Patrick W. McDonough, Executive Director, Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. [FR Doc. E7–23102 Filed 11–27–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Docket No. AMS–LS–07–0131; LS–07–16] United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived From Such Livestock Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking comments on a proposed voluntary standard for a naturally raised marketing claim. A number of livestock producers make claims associated with production practices in order to distinguish their products in the marketplace. There are a growing number of entities that wish to capture value added opportunities via alternative production methods to meet the demands of consumers seeking meat and meat products from naturally raised livestock. The livestock and meat supply chain along with consumers could benefit from a uniform standard for the marketing of this type of product. The standard for a naturally raised marketing claim, if adopted, will be part of the voluntary U.S. Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims. If this voluntary standard is established, livestock producers participating in this program would have their naturally raised claim verified through the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Verification of any claim would be accomplished through an audit of the production process in accordance with procedures that are contained in Part 62 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 62). Meat and meat products sold from approved programs can carry a claim verified by USDA. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 28, 2008 to be assured of consideration. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposal. Comments should be submitted through the Web site at https://www.regulations.gov. Send written comments to: Naturally Raised Marketing Claim, Room 2607–S, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 28, 2007 / Notices SW., Washington, DC 20250–0254, or by facsimile to (202) 720–1112. All comments should reference the docket number. Comments received will be posted on the Web site at https:// www.regulations.gov and will be made available for public inspection at the above physical address during regular business hours. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin E. O’Connor, Chief, Standards, Analysis, and Technology Branch, Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2607–S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250–0254; facsimile: (202) 720–1112; telephone: (202) 720– 4486; or e-mail: Martin.OConnor@usda.gov. Additional information can also be found by accessing the Web site at https:// www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/stand/ naturalclaim.htm. Section 203(c) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1622), directs and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture ‘‘to develop and improve standards of quality, condition, quantity, grade, and packaging, and recommend and demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and consistency in commercial practices.’’ USDA is committed to carrying out this authority in a manner that facilitates the marketing of agricultural products. One way of achieving this objective is through the development and maintenance of voluntary standards by AMS. AMS is seeking comments on a proposed voluntary U.S. Standard for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived from such Livestock, in accordance with procedures that are contained in Part 36 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 36). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Paperwork Reduction Act ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA; 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.), the information collection and recordkeeping requirements for the services associated with a proposed naturally raised marketing claim is approved under Office of Management and Budget Control No. 0581–0124. Background Individuals and companies often highlight production and marketing practices in advertisements and promotions to distinguish their products in the marketplace. Since the late 1970s, VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 27, 2007 Jkt 214001 livestock and meat producers (individuals and companies) have requested the voluntary services of AMS to verify or certify specific practices to increase the value of their products. The Livestock and Seed (LS) Program of AMS has provided certification through direct product examination for a number of production claims related to livestock and carcass characteristics. The validity of such claims is enhanced since the product is labeled as ‘‘USDA Certified.’’ The LS Program also offers verification services through Quality System Verification Programs (QSVP; https://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/arc/ audit.htm) to substantiate claims that cannot be determined by direct examination of livestock, their carcasses, component parts, or the finished product. The QSVP provides suppliers of agricultural products or services the opportunity to distinguish specific activities involved in the production and processing of their agricultural products and to assure customers of their ability to provide consistent quality products or services. This is accomplished by documenting the quality management system and having the manufacturing or service delivery processes verified through independent, third-party audits. One specific QSVP is the USDA Process Verified Program, which allows suppliers to make marketing claims— such as feeding practices or other raising and processing claims—and label and market their products as ‘‘USDA Process Verified.’’ As multiple marketers of specialized claims have begun to seek USDA certification or verification for the same or similar production practices, AMS has determined it would be beneficial to establish standards for common production and marketing claims that would collectively be a part of the voluntary U.S. Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, which may be used in conjunction with a certified or verified program recognized by AMS. The livestock and meat marketing claim standards are instrumental in facilitating communication, establishing a common trade language, and enhancing understanding among producers, processors, and consumers. Past experience indicates that standards sort a highly diverse population into more homogeneous groups, and when standards are uniformly applied, they provide a valuable marketing tool. AMS develops and proposes standards for marketing and production claims based on experience with USDA Certified Programs and USDA QSVP, research into standard practices and procedures, PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67267 and requests from the livestock and meat industries. Naturally raised is an animal production method known in the industry. AMS is proposing that animals that have been naturally raised have been raised without growth promotants and antibiotics and have never been fed mammalian or avian by-products. Accordingly, AMS is seeking comments on a proposed voluntary naturally raised marketing claim standard. AMS has obtained input from a number of individual experts in government, industry, and academia while drafting the proposed standard and has conducted public listening sessions. If adopted, product labels that include the voluntary naturally raised marketing claim must be submitted to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Labeling Program and Delivery Division (LPDD), for evaluation prior to use. FSIS, LPDD, under the authority of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA; 21 U.S.C. 601, 607) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA; 21 U.S.C. 451, 457), regulates domestic and imported meat, poultry, and egg product labeling, standards, and ingredients. AMS has worked closely with FSIS, LPDD to develop and propose the voluntary naturally raised marketing claim standard. All products using the naturally raised marketing claim standard would have to be accompanied by a brief statement explaining the claim and attributes. The proposed standard for a naturally raised marketing claim, if adopted, would be part of the voluntary U.S. Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims which may be used in conjunction with a USDA QSVP, and naturally raised marketing claims may be verified, as provided in 7 CFR Part 62. However, since this would be a voluntary marketing claim, if adopted, FSIS would not establish a new provision limiting the use of the term naturally raised to labels in which participants meet this standard with a USDA QSVP. Any specific labeling issues or questions not related to AMS services would be directed to the FSIS, LPDD. According to FreshLook Marketing Group retail data, the demand for natural and organic products has surged to double-digit growth in recent years (for more information on the National Organic Program visit https:// www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm). To meet the growing consumer demand, U.S. meat and poultry companies have developed and marketed ‘‘natural’’ meat and meat products. An AMS naturally raised marketing claim standard, if adopted, would remain independent of the FSIS use of the term ‘‘natural’’ and E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1 67268 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 28, 2007 / Notices ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES would separate claims about livestock production practices on product labeling. The majority of claims currently citing naturally raised animal production methods are defined by the individual company selling the product. Depending upon the branded program making the claims, the production activities and associated requirements can vary since there is currently no standard to specify which attributes must be addressed and to what level, other than to be truthful and not misleading. This has led to confusion in the industry and the marketplace as to what requirements must be met in order to have a uniform, explicit claim that can be easily understood. This confusion has caused AMS to develop and propose a standard with explicit attributes that could easily be understood by the public as the basis for a naturally raised marketing claim as it relates to live animal production practices. AMS seeks comment from the public concerning its development and requirements. Proposed Standard To develop and propose a marketing claim standard for naturally raised, AMS conducted three listening sessions in December 2006 and January 2007 in Washington, DC, Denver, CO, and Seattle, WA, to seek oral and written comments regarding the use of a naturally raised marketing claim standard. Public input and comments related to a naturally raised marketing claim are posted on the Web site at https://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/stand/ naturalclaim.htm. AMS evaluated the public input and comments and is seeking further comments on a proposed naturally raised marketing claim standard. AMS also reviewed consumer research along with the comments and identified, based upon this information, that production practices such as the prohibited use of antibiotics, growth promotants, and certain animal byproducts are the main attributes consumers want for meat and meat products derived from livestock that are naturally raised. These are the attributes that AMS’ proposed naturally raised standard contains. Again, the naturally raised labeling claim proposed in this notice remains independent of the FSIS policy on the use of the term ‘‘natural’’ on product labeling and will only pertain to live animal production practices. Accordingly, AMS seeks comments on the following proposed voluntary U.S. Standard for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, in this notice. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 27, 2007 Jkt 214001 Proposed U.S. Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived From Such Livestock Background: This proposed claim applies to livestock used for meat and meat products that were raised entirely without growth promotants, antibiotics, and mammalian or avian by-products. The administration of growth hormones, including natural hormones, synthetic hormones, estrus suppressants, beta agonists, or other synthetic growth promotants is prohibited from birth to slaughter. Collectively, they are referred to in the naturally raised marketing claim standard as growth promotants. No antibiotics can be administered, whether through feed or water, or by injection, from birth to slaughter. This includes low-level (sub-therapeutic) or therapeutic level doses, sulfonamides, ionophores, coccidiostats, or any other synthetic antimicrobial. If an animal is in need of medical attention, proper treatment should, of course, be administered in an attempt to improve the health of the animal. In the case where antibiotics or the stated prohibited substances are administered, the treated animal must be identified and excluded from the program. Health products that can be used for disease prevention in a naturally raised program are vaccines, parasite control products, antibody preparations, and bloat prevention and treatment products (e.g., feed grade microbials and buffers that help facilitate the animals digestive process). The feeding of mammalian or avian by-products is prohibited. Livestock cannot be fed rations that include components that are mammalian or avian derived. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is permissible. Verification of the proposed claim will be accomplished through an audit of the production process. The producer must be able to verify for AMS that the naturally raised marketing claim standard requirements are being met through a detailed documented quality management system. Claim and Standard Naturally Raised—Livestock used for the production of meat and meat products have been raised entirely without growth promotants, antibiotics, and have never been fed mammalian or avian by-products. This information shall be contained on any label claim that an animal has been naturally raised. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621–1627. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: November 21, 2007. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. E7–23103 Filed 11–27–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Clearwater National Forest; Idaho; Travel Management Plan Forest Service, USDA. Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Forest Service gives notice of its intent to prepare a Travel Planning Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Clearwater National Forest (CNF). The proposed action would designate a site-specific transportation system and prohibit indiscriminate cross-country traffic. The EIS will analyze the effects of the proposed action and alternatives. The Clearwater National Forest invites comments and suggestions on the issues to be addressed. The agency gives notice of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and decisionmaking process on the proposal so interested and affected members of the public may participate and contribute to the final decision. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by December 14, 2007. A 45-day public comment period will follow the release of the draft environmental impact statement that is expected in June 2008. The final environmental impact statement is expected in January 2009. ADDRESSES: Send written or electronic comments to: Lochsa Ranger District, Kamiah Ranger Station; Attn: Lois Foster, Interdisciplinary Team Leader; Rt. 2 Box 191; Kamiah, ID 83536; FAX 208–935–4275; E-mail commentsnorthern-clearwater@fs.fed.us. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lois Foster, Interdisciplinary Team leader, (208) 935–4258. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action is to (1) Implement national OHV Rule direction, (2) Limit indiscriminate cross-country motorized travel, (3) Designate selected roads and trails for motorized travel, (4) Designate appropriate acreas or routes for travel with over-snow vehicles, (5) Balance travel opportunities with maintenance and management capability including costs, (6) Provide for a better spectrum of motorized, non-motorized, and nonmechanized travel opportunities across E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 228 (Wednesday, November 28, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67266-67268]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-23103]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

[Docket No. AMS-LS-07-0131; LS-07-16]


United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, 
Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products 
Derived From Such Livestock

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking comments 
on a proposed voluntary standard for a naturally raised marketing 
claim. A number of livestock producers make claims associated with 
production practices in order to distinguish their products in the 
marketplace. There are a growing number of entities that wish to 
capture value added opportunities via alternative production methods to 
meet the demands of consumers seeking meat and meat products from 
naturally raised livestock. The livestock and meat supply chain along 
with consumers could benefit from a uniform standard for the marketing 
of this type of product. The standard for a naturally raised marketing 
claim, if adopted, will be part of the voluntary U.S. Standards for 
Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims. If this voluntary standard is 
established, livestock producers participating in this program would 
have their naturally raised claim verified through the Department of 
Agriculture (USDA). Verification of any claim would be accomplished 
through an audit of the production process in accordance with 
procedures that are contained in Part 62 of Title 7 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 62). Meat and meat products sold from 
approved programs can carry a claim verified by USDA.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 28, 2008 to be 
assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning this proposal. Comments should be submitted through the Web 
site at https://www.regulations.gov. Send written comments to: Naturally 
Raised Marketing Claim, Room 2607-S, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence 
Avenue,

[[Page 67267]]

SW., Washington, DC 20250-0254, or by facsimile to (202) 720-1112. All 
comments should reference the docket number. Comments received will be 
posted on the Web site at https://www.regulations.gov and will be made 
available for public inspection at the above physical address during 
regular business hours.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin E. O'Connor, Chief, Standards, 
Analysis, and Technology Branch, Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, 
Room 2607-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0254; 
facsimile: (202) 720-1112; telephone: (202) 720-4486; or e-mail: 
Martin.OConnor@usda.gov. Additional information can also be found by 
accessing the Web site at https://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/stand/
naturalclaim.htm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 203(c) of the Agricultural Marketing 
Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1622), directs and authorizes the 
Secretary of Agriculture ``to develop and improve standards of quality, 
condition, quantity, grade, and packaging, and recommend and 
demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and 
consistency in commercial practices.'' USDA is committed to carrying 
out this authority in a manner that facilitates the marketing of 
agricultural products. One way of achieving this objective is through 
the development and maintenance of voluntary standards by AMS.
    AMS is seeking comments on a proposed voluntary U.S. Standard for 
Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for 
Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived from such Livestock, 
in accordance with procedures that are contained in Part 36 of Title 7 
of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 36).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA; 44 
U.S.C. 3501, et seq.), the information collection and recordkeeping 
requirements for the services associated with a proposed naturally 
raised marketing claim is approved under Office of Management and 
Budget Control No. 0581-0124.

Background

    Individuals and companies often highlight production and marketing 
practices in advertisements and promotions to distinguish their 
products in the marketplace. Since the late 1970s, livestock and meat 
producers (individuals and companies) have requested the voluntary 
services of AMS to verify or certify specific practices to increase the 
value of their products. The Livestock and Seed (LS) Program of AMS has 
provided certification through direct product examination for a number 
of production claims related to livestock and carcass characteristics. 
The validity of such claims is enhanced since the product is labeled as 
``USDA Certified.'' The LS Program also offers verification services 
through Quality System Verification Programs (QSVP; https://
www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/arc/audit.htm) to substantiate claims that cannot 
be determined by direct examination of livestock, their carcasses, 
component parts, or the finished product. The QSVP provides suppliers 
of agricultural products or services the opportunity to distinguish 
specific activities involved in the production and processing of their 
agricultural products and to assure customers of their ability to 
provide consistent quality products or services. This is accomplished 
by documenting the quality management system and having the 
manufacturing or service delivery processes verified through 
independent, third-party audits. One specific QSVP is the USDA Process 
Verified Program, which allows suppliers to make marketing claims--such 
as feeding practices or other raising and processing claims--and label 
and market their products as ``USDA Process Verified.''
    As multiple marketers of specialized claims have begun to seek USDA 
certification or verification for the same or similar production 
practices, AMS has determined it would be beneficial to establish 
standards for common production and marketing claims that would 
collectively be a part of the voluntary U.S. Standards for Livestock 
and Meat Marketing Claims, which may be used in conjunction with a 
certified or verified program recognized by AMS. The livestock and meat 
marketing claim standards are instrumental in facilitating 
communication, establishing a common trade language, and enhancing 
understanding among producers, processors, and consumers. Past 
experience indicates that standards sort a highly diverse population 
into more homogeneous groups, and when standards are uniformly applied, 
they provide a valuable marketing tool. AMS develops and proposes 
standards for marketing and production claims based on experience with 
USDA Certified Programs and USDA QSVP, research into standard practices 
and procedures, and requests from the livestock and meat industries.
    Naturally raised is an animal production method known in the 
industry. AMS is proposing that animals that have been naturally raised 
have been raised without growth promotants and antibiotics and have 
never been fed mammalian or avian by-products. Accordingly, AMS is 
seeking comments on a proposed voluntary naturally raised marketing 
claim standard. AMS has obtained input from a number of individual 
experts in government, industry, and academia while drafting the 
proposed standard and has conducted public listening sessions.
    If adopted, product labels that include the voluntary naturally 
raised marketing claim must be submitted to the USDA's Food Safety and 
Inspection Service (FSIS), Labeling Program and Delivery Division 
(LPDD), for evaluation prior to use. FSIS, LPDD, under the authority of 
the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA; 21 U.S.C. 601, 607) and the 
Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA; 21 U.S.C. 451, 457), regulates 
domestic and imported meat, poultry, and egg product labeling, 
standards, and ingredients. AMS has worked closely with FSIS, LPDD to 
develop and propose the voluntary naturally raised marketing claim 
standard. All products using the naturally raised marketing claim 
standard would have to be accompanied by a brief statement explaining 
the claim and attributes. The proposed standard for a naturally raised 
marketing claim, if adopted, would be part of the voluntary U.S. 
Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims which may be used in 
conjunction with a USDA QSVP, and naturally raised marketing claims may 
be verified, as provided in 7 CFR Part 62. However, since this would be 
a voluntary marketing claim, if adopted, FSIS would not establish a new 
provision limiting the use of the term naturally raised to labels in 
which participants meet this standard with a USDA QSVP. Any specific 
labeling issues or questions not related to AMS services would be 
directed to the FSIS, LPDD.
    According to FreshLook Marketing Group retail data, the demand for 
natural and organic products has surged to double-digit growth in 
recent years (for more information on the National Organic Program 
visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm). To meet the growing 
consumer demand, U.S. meat and poultry companies have developed and 
marketed ``natural'' meat and meat products. An AMS naturally raised 
marketing claim standard, if adopted, would remain independent of the 
FSIS use of the term ``natural'' and

[[Page 67268]]

would separate claims about livestock production practices on product 
labeling.
    The majority of claims currently citing naturally raised animal 
production methods are defined by the individual company selling the 
product. Depending upon the branded program making the claims, the 
production activities and associated requirements can vary since there 
is currently no standard to specify which attributes must be addressed 
and to what level, other than to be truthful and not misleading. This 
has led to confusion in the industry and the marketplace as to what 
requirements must be met in order to have a uniform, explicit claim 
that can be easily understood. This confusion has caused AMS to develop 
and propose a standard with explicit attributes that could easily be 
understood by the public as the basis for a naturally raised marketing 
claim as it relates to live animal production practices. AMS seeks 
comment from the public concerning its development and requirements.

Proposed Standard

    To develop and propose a marketing claim standard for naturally 
raised, AMS conducted three listening sessions in December 2006 and 
January 2007 in Washington, DC, Denver, CO, and Seattle, WA, to seek 
oral and written comments regarding the use of a naturally raised 
marketing claim standard. Public input and comments related to a 
naturally raised marketing claim are posted on the Web site at https://
www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/stand/naturalclaim.htm. AMS evaluated the public 
input and comments and is seeking further comments on a proposed 
naturally raised marketing claim standard.
    AMS also reviewed consumer research along with the comments and 
identified, based upon this information, that production practices such 
as the prohibited use of antibiotics, growth promotants, and certain 
animal by-products are the main attributes consumers want for meat and 
meat products derived from livestock that are naturally raised. These 
are the attributes that AMS' proposed naturally raised standard 
contains. Again, the naturally raised labeling claim proposed in this 
notice remains independent of the FSIS policy on the use of the term 
``natural'' on product labeling and will only pertain to live animal 
production practices.
    Accordingly, AMS seeks comments on the following proposed voluntary 
U.S. Standard for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, in this notice.

Proposed U.S. Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, 
Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products 
Derived From Such Livestock

    Background: This proposed claim applies to livestock used for meat 
and meat products that were raised entirely without growth promotants, 
antibiotics, and mammalian or avian by-products.
    The administration of growth hormones, including natural hormones, 
synthetic hormones, estrus suppressants, beta agonists, or other 
synthetic growth promotants is prohibited from birth to slaughter. 
Collectively, they are referred to in the naturally raised marketing 
claim standard as growth promotants.
    No antibiotics can be administered, whether through feed or water, 
or by injection, from birth to slaughter. This includes low-level (sub-
therapeutic) or therapeutic level doses, sulfonamides, ionophores, 
coccidiostats, or any other synthetic antimicrobial. If an animal is in 
need of medical attention, proper treatment should, of course, be 
administered in an attempt to improve the health of the animal. In the 
case where antibiotics or the stated prohibited substances are 
administered, the treated animal must be identified and excluded from 
the program. Health products that can be used for disease prevention in 
a naturally raised program are vaccines, parasite control products, 
antibody preparations, and bloat prevention and treatment products 
(e.g., feed grade microbials and buffers that help facilitate the 
animals digestive process).
    The feeding of mammalian or avian by-products is prohibited. 
Livestock cannot be fed rations that include components that are 
mammalian or avian derived.
    Vitamin and mineral supplementation is permissible.
    Verification of the proposed claim will be accomplished through an 
audit of the production process. The producer must be able to verify 
for AMS that the naturally raised marketing claim standard requirements 
are being met through a detailed documented quality management system.

Claim and Standard

    Naturally Raised--Livestock used for the production of meat and 
meat products have been raised entirely without growth promotants, 
antibiotics, and have never been fed mammalian or avian by-products. 
This information shall be contained on any label claim that an animal 
has been naturally raised.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.

    Dated: November 21, 2007.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. E7-23103 Filed 11-27-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P