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                    John Gay, DVM PhD DACVPM               AAHP                  FDIU             VCS

Herd Production Medicine

Food Labeling: 
What is it, who does it, what are the rules, and what are the issues?
Grass-fed, Humane, Natural, Organic, Sustainable, . .

Version 1.5  - initial draft 3/09  updated 08/13/15

Note: The inclusion of items in the following does not imply endorsement nor does omission imply disapproval.


Federal Regulatory:

EPA - Agriculture

FDA Food - Ingredients, Packaging and Labeling




The Climate Registry

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International / Foreign Standards:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Codex Alimentarius (WHO/FA) Food Standards) - Food Labeling - pdf  pdf2

FAO Animal Production and Health Division

IFC - International Finance Corporation - World Bank

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

National Farm Animal Care Council (Canada)

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs - Organic Agriculture


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Legislative Process:

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Certification, Labeling and Standards:

American Heart Association

American Humane Certified (formerly "Free Farmed", American Humane Association) - Farm Animals - The Humane Touch

AMI - American Meat Institute - Animal Handling

Animalhandling.org (AMI - American Meat Institute)

Animal Welfare Approved (Animal Welfare Institute)

ANSI - American National Standards Institute

BWAP - Bristol Welfare Assurance Program

BQA - Beef Quality Assurance

CCOF - California Certified Organic Farmers

Certified Humane (HFAC - Humane Farm Animal Care - ASPCA, HSUS, local human societies ) - wiki

Dairy Farmers of Canada

DEFRA - UK Dept for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DQA Center - Milk & Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Center

Dr. Temple Grandin Certified, Sustainable and Humane (Temple Grandin with Niman Ranch)

FACTA - Farm Animal Care Training and Auditing (Dr. John McGlone)

FARM - Farmers Assuring Responsible Management - National Dairy Farm Program

Farm Sanctuary - Research Reports

FAWC - Farm Animal Welfare Council (United Kingdom)

Food Alliance

FSA - UK Food Standards Agency

IBeef (Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation)

IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

IOIA - International Organic Inspectors Association

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

Master Cattle Transporter Guide

National Dairy Animal Well-being Initiative

National Dairy Farm Assured Scheme (British)

National Dairy FARM Program - NMPF (National Milk Producers Federation) Farmers Assuring Responsible Management

OCIA International - organic crop improvement association

Oregon Tilth

PAACO - Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. - pdf

Pennsylvania DACQA - Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance - Center for Dairy Excellence



Quality Assurance International - wiki

Rodale - Guide to US Organic Certifiers

SCS - Scientific Certification Systems

SQF - Safe Quality Food Institute

Validus Services, LLC





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Alderspring Ranch Grass Fed Beef

American Grassfed Association

Angus Source - American Angus Association

Certified Angus Beef (producers) - consumers

Certified Hereford Beef

Country Natural Beef (Oregon Country Beef)

JS West Family Farms - poultry

Meyers Natural Angus

Niman Ranch

Prather Ranch

Tallgrass Beef (founded by Bill Kurtis, CBS Anchor - Red Buffalo Ranch)

Williamson Farms

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Niche Marketing Risks:

  • Alberta beef plan goes bust (Rancher's Beef Ltd, Balzac, AB)
  • Buffalo survivors have advice for other niche meat marketers (Stockman Grass Farmer 3/3/09)
  • Future Beef Operations
  • The Dawn of Future Beef (Beef Magazine, 8/1/01)
  • New Plant of the Year: Future Beef Operations (Food Engineering, 4/11/03)
  • Why Future Beef went under (Beef Magazine, 11/1/02)
  • Failure of Genius (Inc.com 8/1/03)
  • Future Beef Operations plant sold
  • Niche Marketing Considerations: Beef as a Case Example, 1997 (Wyoming Lean Beef, C Bastian, DJ Menkhaus)
  • Niman Ranch
  • article - Niman Ranch founder challenges new owners (San Francisco Chronicle - 1/09 taken over by Natural Food Holdings LLC to avoid bankruptcy)
  • NPPB - Northern Plains Premium Beef
  • Rocky Mountain Beef Cooperative
  • Success/failure analysis - AgMRC - agricultural marketing resource center
  • Tallgrass Prairie Producers Coop
  • A Fight for Survival
  • Romance vs Reality: Hard Lessons Learned in a Grass-fed Beef Marketing Cooperative - html  pdf pdf2
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    Other Websites:

    AAFCO - Association of American Feed Control Officials

    AgMRC - Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

    AFAC - Alberta Farm Animal Care

    Alliance to Feed the Future

    AMI - American Meat Institute

    Animal Agriculture Alliance

    Beef Technologies (Growth Enhancement Technology Information Team - Elanco, Fort Dodge, Intervet, Pfizer) - now SBRC (see below)

    CDQA - California Dairy Quality Assurance Program

    Center for Global Food Issues - DT Avery, AA Avery, Hudson Institute (SW)

    Cornucopia Institute

    EatWild - The #1 Site for Grass-Fed Food & Facts (Jo Robinson)

    FACT: Food Animal Concerns Trust

    FMI - Food Marketing Institute

    Food Consulting Co.

    Food Info Net - The Ultimate Food Information Resource

    Food Law Org - Institute for Food Laws and Regulations - Neal D. Fortin, Michigan State U

    Food & Society Fellows at IATP - Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

    Grass Fed Beef - Cal State Chico

    HSUS: The Humane Society of the United States - Factory Farming Campaign (SW)

    IOIA - International Organic Inspectors Association

    IDFA - International Dairy Foods Association

    Iowa Ag Decision Maker (AgDM)

    Iowa Beef Center

    Iowa State Dept of Economics - JD Lawrence,, Director, Iowa Beef Center

    ISBCW - International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare, Kansas State U Beef Cattle Institute, 2008

    Kansas Rural Center - publications

    Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture

    Leopold Center

    Livestock Welfare - NFACC, AFAC, FACS, MFAC, OFAC (Canadian Farm Animal Councils), CAHC

    MOSES - Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service

    MSN Health & Fitness

    National Dairy Animal Well-being Initiative

    NDSU - Food Law

    NIAA - National Institute for Animal Agriculture

    NM State U Range Improvement Task Force

    NOFA - Northeast Organic Farming Association

    Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z

    OCA - Organic Consumers Association

    OMRI - Organic Materials Review Institute

    Open Congress Wiki

    OrganicAgInfo - Organic Agriculture Consortium (Ohio, N Carolina, Iowa, Tufs) - broken 3/09

    Organic Grassfed Beef Coalition

    Organic Trade Association

    Northwest Sustainable Dairies

    PG Economics Limited - Agricultural and Food Economists

    POA - Purdue Organic and Alternative Livestock Production Systems



    Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation


    SBRC - Sustainable Beef Resource Center (formerly Beef Technologies (Growth Enhancement Technology Information Team - Elanco, Fort Dodge, Intervet, Pfizer))

    Small Planet Institute

    Sourcewatch (SW)

    The Organic Center

    UC Davis

    UBC Animal Welfare Program

    Utah Food Label Review Program

    Walmart Sustainability

    Welfare Quality (European Union welfare assessment standard development group)

    WSU CSANR - Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources

    Yum! Company - Animal Welfare


    other materials:


    blogs and influential sites:



    The Veterinarian's Oath and the Five Freedoms - pdf


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