Comments are being solicited for a proposed voluntary standard that specifically defines the term naturally raised livestock.
"Naturally raised is animals that have been raised without the use of antibiotics, growth promotents, and have never been fed mammalian or avian by-products," says Carrie Smith of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.
According to Smith, what the proposed standard is attempting to do is to eliminate confusion in the marketplace for consumers and producers as far as what constitutes naturally raised.
"Consumers have their idea; and the producers have their idea," Smith says. "Along with that each individual producer can have their own standardized requirements by what they are meaning by naturally raised animals."
The proposed rule is up for public comment before being finalized. Comments must be submitted on or before Jan. 28, 2008. To provide written comments on the proposed rule, click HERE.