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?|
1. The USDA has banned the use of hormone free on all meat products.
2. The producer or manufacturer decides whether to use the claim and is not free from its own self-interest.
WHAT THIS GENERAL CLAIM MEANS:
There is no government or official definition for this term except on meat and poultry products as defined by the US Department of Agriculture. Use of the term “hormone free” is considered “unapprovable” by USDA on any meat products. Meat and poultry products carrying the “no hormones administered” claim imply that the animal must not have received any added hormones during the course of its lifetime.
WHO VERIFIES THIS GENERAL CLAIM?
There is no organization behind this claim other than the company manufacturing or marketing the product. The USDA has defined the use of the term and can hold manufacturers accountable for using the “hormone-free” on all meat products.
CONSUMERS UNION EVALUATION:
“No hormones administered” or “hormone free” are general claims that imply that no hormones were used in the production of a food product. There is currently no standard definition for the term except for meat products. Unless otherwise specified, there is no organization independently certifying this claim. The producer or manufacturer decides whether to use the claim and is not free from its own self-interest.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits the use of hormones in the raising of hogs or poultry in the United States. Therefore all pork and poultry products that carry the “no hormones administered” label only represent the regulations that are already in place for pork and poultry and should not be taken to mean that the manufacturer is doing anything beyond USDA requirements for conventional pork and poultry products. However, the USDA does allow the use of a number of hormones on beef. Beef and that is labeled as “no hormones administered” is considered to be free from any added hormones over the lifetime of the animal and therefore does imply that the manufacturer has gone beyond USDA regulations for conventional meat production. Use of the term “hormone free” is considered “unapprovable” by USDA on any meat products.