Tag Archives: GreenerChoices.org

Food Labels: Naturally Raised (or Natural) Meat

Food Label Tag GreenExcerpt from Ecoholic

“According to the CFIA, this label should mean the animal was raised without human intervention (i.e. vaccines, hormones or antibiotics). Some health stores use the term on their meat to mean hormone-, antibiotic-, GMO- and animal-by-product-free, as well as free-range. But the feed isn’t organic.”

Excerpt from GreenerChoices.org

“If you came across a package of ground beef with a “naturally raised” label on it, it might conjure up images of animals roaming freely and grazing on open pasture. But unfortunately, that’s not the case with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new voluntary standard for the naturally raised claim, which the agency issued on January 16, 2009.”

“For livestock used for the production of meat and meat products, the USDA’s naturally raised marketing claim standard:

  • Prohibits growth promotants (including growth hormones);
  • Prohibits animal byproducts in feed—which are implicated in causing mad cow disease; and
  • Claims to prohibit antibiotics (but allows ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control).

While those are important practices, Consumers Union believes only specific product claims should be allowed, such as ‘no antibiotics or hormones ever administered’. They should not be couched under a vague and misleading term that does not address how the animals were raised, their main diet, treatment of animals, space requirements, and other concerns.

“This regulation will allow an animal that has come from a cloned or genetically engineered stock, was physically altered, raised in confinement without ever seeing the light of day or green of pasture, in poor hygiene conditions with a diet laced in pesticides to be labeled as ‘naturally raised.’ This falls significantly short of consumer expectations and only adds to the roster of misleading label claims approved by USDA for so-called natural meat,” said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst at Consumers Union, and Director of GreenerChoices.org.”

“A national telephone poll conducted by Consumer Reports’ National Research Center released in November 2008 showed American consumers want the “naturally raised” meat claim to mean more than USDA’s standard, including that it came from an animal that:

  • Had a diet free of chemicals, drugs and animal byproducts (86%)
  • Was raised in a natural environment (85%)
  • Ate a natural diet (85%)
  • Was not cloned or genetically engineered (78%)
  • Had access to the outdoors (77%)
  • Was treated humanely (76%)
  • Was not confined (68%)”