Free roaming

LABEL REPORT CARD

How meaningful is the label? Is the label verified? Is the meaning of the label consistent? Are the label standards publicly available? Is information about the organization publicly available? Is the organization free from conflict of interest? Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?
Not No No No1 No2 No3 No

1. There are no standards for the free roaming label.
2. There are no standards for the free roaming label.
3. The producer or manufacturer decides whether to use the claim and is not free from its own self-interest.

WHAT THIS GENERAL CLAIM MEANS:
The USDA has defined “free range” or “free roaming” only for poultry products but not for eggs. For other products carrying the “free range” label, there is no standard definition for this term.

CONSUMERS UNION EVALUATION:
Free range (or free roaming) is a general claim that implies that a meat or poultry product, including eggs, comes from an animal that was raised in the open air or was free to roam. Its use on beef is unregulated and there is no standard definition of this term. Free range is regulated by the USDA for use on poultry only (not eggs) and USDA requires that birds have been given access to the outdoors but for an undetermined period each day. USDA considers five minutes of open-air access each day to be adequate for it to approve use of the free range claim on a poultry product. “Free range” claims on eggs are not regulated at all. To learn more about what is meant by this term, consumers must contact the manufacturer.

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