WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2015 – Special safety labels for mechanically tenderized meat are likely to take effect as soon as 2016, two years earlier than expected, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told lawmakers.
At a hearing with the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Vilsack said his department would suspend a regulation that would otherwise prevent the labeling for mechanically tenderized meat to take effect until 2018, because the administration failed to finalize the labeling rule before the end of last year.“We’re going to move the timeline up,” Vilsack told Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.
Vilsack also reiterated to the subcommittee that Congress will need to revise the country-of-origin law for meat unless the administration wins its appeal of a World Trade Organization ruling.
“We either win the appeal or Congress has to change the law,” he told the panel. He suggested Congress would have to rewrite the law to implement some kind of “generic” label that wouldn’t require segregation of livestock.