RCC News: U.S. Seeking Comments on Wholesale Meat Cut Regulatory Revisions

In February, BTBObserver reported on Canada and the United States announcing aligned wholesale meat cut labeling regulations.  While technical, Canada and the United States trade $2.5 billion annually in just red meats.

Earlier this month* the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released the proposed regulatory changes, and is now seeking public comments.  (Check out page 59 of one of the four labeling series that AMS is seeking to change, and you’ll see just how extensive these voluntary industry specifications are.)

From USDA’s AMS website:

AMS is seeking comments on the following IMPS Series: Fresh Beef, Series 100; Fresh Lamb, Series 200; Fresh Veal, Series 300; and Fresh Pork, Series 400. The revised voluntary specifications were developed through a cooperative effort with U.S. and Canada meat industry stakeholders, the North American Meat Association Meat Buyers Guide Committees, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the AMS Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program.

These are the first revisions made under a recent bilateral agreement known as the United States and Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) initiative. This RCC initiative is aimed at harmonizing meat cut nomenclature between the two countries and facilitating trade.

The revisions bring the IMPS in line with current industry practices and marketplace offerings for meat cuts. Other revisions include updated document appearance and clarifications to Material Requirements and Purchaser Specified Options. The current drafts are available for review at the links above.

The entire IMPS series includes eleven documents addressing meat handling, refrigeration, and packaging; code referenced descriptions for beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat, variety meats, sausages and cooked meat products; and quality assurance provisions recommended for use by any quality control activity.

*Thanks to the Trade Administration (ITA) for alerting BTBObserver to this exciting RCC news.
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