The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced a public meeting to initiate a public process to review its policies on the use of animal raising claims in the labeling of meat and poultry products.

The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, 480 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, D.C. 20024. FSIS and the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will host the public meeting to discuss the issue and solicit public comments.

FSIS approves animal raising claims in the labeling of meat and poultry products if the animal production information submitted with the label application supports the claims being made and the claim is truthful and not misleading. Recent events concerning labeling claims related to the use of antibiotics in the raising of poultry illustrate the complex issues associated with such claims and led FSIS to review its policies on related claims to ensure that they are truthful and not misleading.

For further information, contact Charles Gioglio, Director, Labeling and Program Delivery Division, Office of Policy and Program Development, FSIS at (202) 205-0279.