Eliminating USDA oversight of “fresh” meat labels – a good idea ?

An article  in the Wall Street Journal (Dec 7, 2011) describes a proposal by the USDA to eliminate their oversight of claims like “fresh”, “low-fat” or “Italian style” for meats.  The claims will thus rest on the credibility of the producers, thus eliminating 580,000 approvals from the USDA and $ 8.7 million in costs over 10 years.  Is this the kind of regulation that is best suited for elimination, with “caveat emptor” being the operative approach  Since the costs saved from a regulatory perspective per approval are small ($ 15 per approval), is the expectation that the approval time savings would permit a more efficient supply chain, thus making products more affordable ? Can the industry be expected to self regulate “food claims”, thus generating efficiencies by leaving government regulators out ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
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