Common Labels and Certifications Used to Market Agricultural Products

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $40,000.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Georgia
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
State Coordinators:
Dr. Mark Latimore
Fort Valley State University
Dr. Timothy Coolong
University of Kentucky
Label terms and certifications can be divided into those that are regulated and those that are unregulated. Regulated label terms and certifications are usually defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Within the USDA, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the agency responsible for the truthful labeling of meat and poultry products. The use of labels and certifications is governed by law and violations of use can have legal consequences. Unregulated terms have generally accepted definitions but do not have legal ramifications or verification of adherence. Many common label claims, such as “humanely raised” or “sustainably farmed,” refer to the process used to farm livestock but are unregulated, and there are no legal definitions for these claims. This publication summarizes some common regulated and unregulated terms in agriculture and livestock production.
Amanda Tedrow, UGA Cooperative Extension
Jessica Cudnik, UGA
Julia Gaskin, UGA
This product is associated with the project "2017-2018 Model State Program"
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.