USDA has released new voluntary standards related to marketing claims for naturally raised livestock and their meat products. The standard sets the minimum requirements for producers who opt to run a USDA-verified program involving a naturally raised claim.

The standard states that the livestock used in naturally raised meat products:

  • Have been raised entirely without growth promotants and without antibiotics (except for ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control).
  • Have never been fed animal byproducts.

USDA officials point out that the agency reviewed more than 44,000 comments from producers, processors, consumers and other interested parties to develop this standard. It will be published in the Jan.16 Federal Register under the titled "United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived from such Livestock."