The American Grassfed Association (AGA) standard was officially launched in February
A month after USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) rescinded its official standards for the grass fed beef claim.
This means the USDA no longer has any grass fed standards for producers to follow.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which approves meat labels in general, still approves grass fed label claims.
However, producers of grass fed meats are free to define their own standards!
According to the AGA, “FSIS is only considering the feeding protocol in their label approvals
Other issues such as confinement; use of antibiotics and hormones; and the source of the animals, meat, and dairy products
will be left up to the producer.
In other words, a producer of “grass fed beef” could theoretically confine the animals and feed them antibiotics and hormones and still put a grass fed label on the meat as long as the animals were also fed grass at some point.
The take-home message: Unless it’s an AGA grass fed label, you really won’t know what you’re getting.
No other grass fed certification offers the same comprehensive assurances as the AGA, and no other grass fed program ensures compliance using third-party audits.
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