Obama Regulators Want To Let Factory Farms Label Their Meat ‘Humanely Raised’

from the Huffington Post

Obama administration regulators have proposed allowing meat and chicken products to be marketed as “humanely raised” even if the animals in question were subjected to procedures that cause substantial suffering ― including unanesthetized castration, debeaking, dehorning and prolonged extreme confinement.

The proposed guidelines were recently posted by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the federal agency that regulates how meat and poultry products must be labeled.

The new rules would permit meat producers to use terms like “Raised With Care” or “Humanely Raised on Sustainable Family Farms” simply by making up their own definitions for the terms. Each company’s definition of “humanely raised” would be entirely arbitrary, and regulators would perform no inspections to verify any of their animal-welfare claims.

Consumer advocates and animal protection groups said the proposed rules would amount to a federal seal of approval on a deeply flawed labeling system that misleads consumers and undermines farms that actually do provide better care to animals.

“This is the status quo wrapped into a nice pretty package,” said Michelle Pawliger of the Animal Welfare Institute, a Washington D.C.-based policy group.

The proposed rules are now open to a 60-day comment period. Members of the public can leave a comment here.

[read more here]

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