USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has released a proposed rule which seeks to improve the Agency’s oversight of how companies use the USDA name and Process Verified Shield.
- USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers the USDA Process Verified Program. Companies with an approved Process Verified Program may develop promotional materials associated with their process verified points, use the USDA Process Verified Program shield in accordance with Program requirements and market themselves as “USDA Process Verified”. By way of an example, the Process Verified Program allows companies to develop marketing claims such as “cage-free” or “tenderness guaranteed”. The USDA Process Verified Program does not obviate the need to meet regulatory requirements set by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
- On November 7, 2016, USDA’s AMS released a proposed rule which seeks to improve AMS’ oversight of how companies use the USDA name and Process Verified Shield. In particular, the Agency is proposing to amend its regulations to better reflect the current needs of AMS’ Quality Systems Verification Program (QSVP) activities and to implement changes created by the 2013 merger of the AMS Livestock and Seed Program and the AMS Poultry Program. Aside from calling for various technical and administrative amendments, key aspects of the proposed changes include:
- amending the Livestock, Meat, and Other Agricultural Commodities QSVP to expand the commodities under the QSVP to include those authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 and
- more clearly identifying and defining the types of programs and services offered under AMS’ QSVP.
- The Agency will be accepting comments on the proposed rule through January 6, 2017.